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Banking Basics

How to Endorse a Check for Mobile Deposit

Signing the back of your check helps banks verify your identity and prevent fraud. Here’s how to endorse a check to ensure a smooth mobile deposit process.

Jamela Adam • November 15, 2022

In This Article

  1. How to endorse a check for mobile deposit
  2. Why do I need to endorse a check?
  3. Why didn't my mobile check endorsement work?
  4. FAQs
  5. Practice makes perfect

Ready to deposit a check? Before signing into your mobile banking app, you must endorse the check to authorize the transaction and confirm your identity. 

If you’ve never done this before, you might wonder where your signature should go. Don’t worry: endorsing a check is simple and won’t take up much of your time. Read on as we walk you through the step-by-step process of correctly endorsing a check so your funds arrive in your account without unnecessary delays.

How to endorse a check for mobile deposit

With the invention of remote deposit capture,¹ you can now deposit checks through your smartphone without stepping foot in a bank. Here’s how to endorse a check for a mobile deposit:

Verify the information on the check 

Before signing the back of your check, take a few seconds to look over the information written on the front. 

Make sure the payee’s name (your name) is spelled correctly and that the check amount is accurate. Also, though some banks will honor expired checks (older than six months),² verify the issue date and ensure the check isn’t too old. 

If there’s missing information or an error on your check, contact the person who wrote you the check and ask them to send you a new one. 

Find the endorsement area

Once you’ve verified the information on the front side of the check, flip it over. The endorsement section has a heading like “Endorse Check Here.” Every check may look different, but you’ll generally see three to five grey lines in the endorsement area where you can sign and write. 

Provide your signature 

Most checks have a solid black line at the bottom of the endorsement area that reads, “Do not write, stamp, or sign below this line. Reserved for financial institution use.” Try to keep your signature within the endorsement area (on the grey lines) to avoid any problems with your bank. 

Include a restrictive endorsement 

Once you’ve found the endorsement section, use a black or blue ink pen to sign your name. Below the signature, most banks will require you to include a restrictive endorsement like “For mobile deposit only.” If you don’t write this, banks can reject your mobile deposit. 

The exact wording might vary depending on the financial institution, so check your bank’s mobile deposit policy beforehand. You should see instructions for restrictive endorsements on your mobile app as you make your mobile check deposit.

Check for errors 

Before taking pictures of your check and uploading it onto your mobile banking app, check for errors in the endorsement section. Look for any misspellings or inaccurate information that could make the bank reject or delay your deposit. 

Why do I need to endorse a check?

Endorsing your check is a straightforward way to provide extra security for your funds. Once you sign the back of your check, banks can verify you as the proper recipient and complete the transaction. 

Along with your signature, you cab include statements restricting how one could use the check. Another common example of a restrictive endorsement is “for deposit only,” which means the check can only be deposited and not cashed. 

Remember: don’t endorse a check until you’re ready to deposit the money into your account. There’s always a possibility that someone can steal the check, alter the information, and drain your hard-earned cash from your bank account.

Why didn't my mobile check endorsement work?

Though mobile app features like mobile check deposit can simplify our lives, they can also cause frustration when we can’t get them to work. If your bank rejected your deposit, double-check to see if you’ve made any of these mistakes below:

  • Missing signature(s): Always sign your name on the back of the check before depositing it.
  • Blurry images: Before snapping photos of your check, clean your camera lens, adjust the focus and exposure, and steady your shot. Don’t forget to take those pictures in a well-lit area instead of a dark environment.
  • Duplicate deposit: If you’ve already deposited a check, you can’t do it again. Contact your bank’s customer service department if you think a duplicate deposit error message is incorrect. 
  • Incomplete checks: You might have trouble depositing a check if it’s missing information like the payee’s name and the check amount. 
  • Wrong deposit amount: If your check amount is $450.75, don’t round the numbers up to $451 or down to $450 when inputting it into your bank’s mobile app. Enter the exact amount you see on the check. 
  • Surpassing the deposit limit: If you attempt to deposit an amount higher than your daily or monthly limit, your bank can reject the transaction. Check your bank’s mobile deposit policies if you’re unsure what the limit is. 

FAQs

Where do I sign a check?

You can find the endorsement area on the upper side of the check once you flip it over. This area usually includes three to five gray lines where you can provide your signature and write a restrictive endorsement.

Under the gray lines, you’ll see a solid black line with instructions telling you not to write in the section below. 

Ensure your endorsement doesn’t extend beyond that line since the bank needs the space beneath it to process the check. Use a pen instead of a pencil to sign the check so your endorsement can’t be erased.

What are my mobile check deposit limits?

Mobile check deposit limits can vary depending on your account type, deposit history, account age, and financial institution. Most banks allow you to check your deposit limit under your account information in the mobile banking app.

Once you’ve reached the deposit limit, you can’t deposit another check until the limit resets at the beginning of the next day or month. 

If you’re a Chime member, check out our Chime mobile deposit guide for more information on your deposit limit. 

How do I endorse a check to someone else?

First, check with the recipient’s bank to see if they’d accept signed-over checks. Then, to sign a check over to someone else, write “pay to the order of (the person’s name)” under your signature. Finally, give the check to that person so they can deposit it.

Practice makes perfect

It’s normal to feel nervous if this is your first time signing a check. You can practice on a blank sheet of paper beforehand to avoid making mistakes while endorsing your check with a pen. You can even write with a pencil first, trace the endorsement over with a pen, then erase the pencil marks. 

Once you’re a pro at endorsing checks, learn how to make a mobile check deposit whenever you need to deposit a check using your phone.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

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1 Information from Investopedia’s Remote Deposit Capture as of October 24, 2022: https://www.investopedia.com/remote-deposit-capture-definition-4684027

2 Information from Investopedia’s When Do Checks Expire? as of October 24, 2022:
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/082216/when-do-checks-expire.asp

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