These days, payments for everything from credit cards to rent, or even happy hour drinks, are made online or through apps. Still, you may run into an occasion when you have to pay for something by check.
That being said, mailing something as important as a check might seem intimidating or scary for the uninitiated, but we’ll break down how to do it safely in this article, so keep reading!
Can You Mail Checks Through USPS In 2023?
Mailing checks through USPS is a safe and common practice in 2023. To better protect your check, make sure it’s made out to a particular recipient and not to “cash.” In addition, hide the check from prying eyes by placing it inside a greeting card or dark-colored envelope. USPS also recommends dropping off checks at the post office.
We’ve got even more advice for keeping your checks safe in the mail, so make sure you continue reading for more useful facts!
Is It Safe to Send a Check Through the Mail?
Mailing a check through USPS is quite safe. With the advent of digital payments, it may be hard to imagine that not so long ago, millions of checks passed through the postal system every day.
Even nowadays, paychecks, tax payments, and Social Security checks are regularly sent through the mail without any issues.
Of course, nothing is foolproof, but checks getting lost happens in less than 1% of cases.
Therefore, as long as you take precautions like tracking your check, placing it in an opaque envelope, etc, there’s no need to worry about putting a check in the mail.
How Do I Mail a Check Through USPS?
Mailing a check through the postal service is very easy. First, fill out the check as you normally would, taking care to write the recipient’s name in the “Pay to the order of” line.
In general, it’s not a good idea to make a check out to “cash.” That’s especially true when you’re putting a check in the mail.
Once you’ve filled out the check, try to hide it in some way so that it’s not visible when looking at the exterior of the envelope.
To do so, you can hide the check inside a greeting card, fold a piece of paper around the check, or use a colored envelope.
When you’re ready to put your check in the mail, we recommend dropping it off at a secure location to avoid any risk of theft.
You can bring your check directly to the post office, hand it to your letter carrier, or put it in an official locked post office mailbox.
What Is the Best Way to Send a Large Check Through the Mail?
While you want to take care whenever you’re mailing a check, it’s wise to pay special attention when mailing checks that are worth a lot of money.
In addition to the tips listed above, there are some more ways to keep your money safe in the mail.
First, you can use a cashier’s check instead of a personal check. Cashier’s checks are drawn by you, and fulfilled with bank funds.
Sending a cashier’s check in the mail is a more dependable method, because these checks typically come with extra security features.
Such features make it more difficult for scammers to alter checks and steal your money.
Another thing you can do to protect a large check is to restrict it.
Restricting a check involves writing “For deposit only” on the back of the check where the signature goes.
Doing so indicates to the bank teller that the check can only be deposited in the bank account of the intended recipient.
This method isn’t a guarantee of safety, as a bank teller could miss or ignore your message.
However, it will make it less likely that a thief will be able to cash the check or sign it over to someone else.
Another thing you can do for peace of mind when mailing a large check is to send it using Certified Mail.
When you use this service, USPS requires the recipient to sign for the check when it arrives. You’ll also get a receipt sent to you as proof of delivery.
What Happens If My Check Is Lost in the Mail?
As mentioned previously, it’s very rare that checks get lost in the mail. In fact, it happens less than 1% of the time.
What’s more, even if your check does happen to get lost, it’s usually not the end of the world.
To begin with, a thief would have to forge the payee’s signature or alter the check in order to do anything with it.
These days, there are plenty of security features on checks that make such fraud pretty tough to pull off.
Therefore, even if your check gets into the wrong hands, there’s not much that can be done with it.
Still, if your check has gone missing, and you want some peace of mind, contact your bank and put a stop on the check to ensure it isn’t cashed by someone else.
Stopping a check usually costs between $20 to $30, so if the check is for less than that, it’s not worth canceling.
How Long Does It Take to Mail a Check?
Check delivery times depend on which mailing service you select.
In most cases, you’ll probably be mailing your check through USPS First-Class Mail. This service takes about 3 to 5 business days.
If you choose to send your check via Priority Mail, expect delivery in 1 to 3 business days.
Mailing checks through USPS is a safe and secure way to move money around. Just make sure to fill out your check carefully, hide it from prying eyes, and drop it off somewhere secure.