How to sign over a check

by Josh Staiger

You have a check that is made out to you — “Pay to the order of Your Name”, and you want to use it to pay someone else — without cashing or depositing the money in your bank account.

You can do that?

Yep. I found this out when someone hit my car, and received a check from their auto insurance company with instructions to sign it over to my repair shop.


Normally, when depositing a check, you flip it over, sign it, and give it to the teller, who puts the money in your account.

If you want to pay someone else with the check instead of depositing it (called signing over a check, or endorsing over a check) you flip it over and write:

Pay to the order of:
[the name of the party you’re paying]
[your signature]

and give it the person you’re paying. When they cash it they’ll sign their name underneath and give it to their bank.

This is called a “special endorsement”, and the person you’re paying is called the “endorsee”.


Not all banks cash checks signed over like this, so you may want to make sure it’s ok with the person you're paying and their bank before trying.