A Check In the United States Doesn’t Have To Be Written On Paper

What if you won the lottery and got one of those giant cardboard checks……could you deposit it at the bank? The answer is yes. A check written on anything other than paper is still a check, as long as it contains the right information. There have been checks written on the back of shirts, watermelon rinds, and even on skin. If they were written in the right format, they could be cashed. That’s because a check is an order to pay someone, and as long as it contains the account owner’s name, the date, the words “Pay to the order of” followed by the payee’s name, the dollar amount in numerical and written form, the name of the bank where the account is held (along with the bank’s city and state), and the signature of the account holder, it’s valid. So, if a drunk writes you a check on a cocktail napkin, you can deposit it at your bank. However, be aware that the bank will create a substitute document for it to put through the paper processing machine. No matter what checks are written on, there’s no escaping paper.