Walmart Personal Check Writing Policy: Requirements, Verification, etc

Walmart accepts checks, but limits and fees do apply. If you want to know about Walmart’s personal check policy, but you don’t want to spend your time digging through Walmart’s website or making phone calls just for one simple answer, this article was written with you in mind.

Paying for Purchases With a Personal Check

All Walmarts accept personal checks as payment for your purchase at the traditional register. You cannot use a personal check at the self check out because those machines don’t have the capability to scan checks (or check your ID). Note: This information was confirmed with customer service as it is not posted online.


Note that it makes no difference whether you’re paying with an in-state or out-of-state check. If you’ve traveled to a different state and need to use a check to shop at Walmart, the requirements will be exactly the same as if you were in your state of residence.

1. A government-issued, photo ID

Walmart accepts state issued driver’s licenses, state ID cards, military IDs, U.S. passports, and social security cards with photo ID. At manager discretion, a store may accept a foreign passport. There is no way to cash a check without presenting an ID.

Suggested Article: How to Cash a Check Without ID or Bank Account

2. Your name must be the name on the check

To prevent check fraud, Walmart can only accept your check if the name on the ID you show matches the name on the check. If your name is on the checking account, but not the check, you won’t be able to use the check. The only exception is business checks — an employee can use a business check at Walmart without having their name listed on the check. An employee ID may be required in addition to a government-issued, photo ID.

3. Your check must pass TeleCheck’s verification scan

Walmart uses TeleCheck (or, at a minority of their stores, Certegy), a third-party check verification company, to assess the riskiness of checks and protect against fraud. If your check doesn’t pass TeleCheck’s scan, you won’t be able to use it.

What Is Telecheck and How Does It Work?

Walmart processes personal checks electronically through a third-party check verification company. The majority of Walmart stores use TeleCheck for this service, but a few do use Certegy. These two companies are the largest providers of check verification services for retail stores and if you often pay with checks, you’ve probably had yours scanned before.

When you pay with a personal check at Walmart, you must let the cashier run your check through the Telecheck or Certegy scanning machine. Walmart posts a statement at the checkout lane stating that by choosing to pay by check, you consent to having your check processed in this way.

TeleCheck or Certegy runs the information from the check, such as the routing number, bank account number, and amount of the transaction, and your identifying information, such as your driver’s license number, against the data stored in its system to assess the check’s riskiness. This assesses the chances your check will be returned for insufficient funds as well as the chances of check fraud.

Generally, this helps Walmart avoid accepting bad checks and reduces check fraud, but sometimes perfectly good checks are declined, too. According to TeleCheck, even something seemingly innocent such as a bank account number not seen by TeleCheck before could be a risk factor that could possibly lead to the check being declined.

When the system accepts your check, it’ll print a receipt, which you’ll sign. This authorizes the company to transfer funds from your checking account electronically. The cashier will give you a copy of the receipt and your original check. If the system declines a personal check, you’ll still get a receipt and your check back — but, the funds won’t transfer and you’ll have to pay for your purchase another way. Look on the receipt for TeleCheck’s or Certegy’s phone number — you can call them and find out why your check was declined. If you were declined by TeleCheck, you’ll have to contact them to resolve the situation. You can also read their declined check FAQs for more information. If you were declined by Certegy, you can call or use the online declined check lookup to find out why.

Can You Get Cashback when Paying with a Personal Check?

You can get $20 cashback when paying by personal check. Before writing your check, ask the cashier if cashback is available, just to confirm that there is in fact enough cash on hand in that specific register. You’ll then make your check out for $20 more than the purchase price. After your check is scanned and accepted, the cashier will give you back your receipt, the original check, and $20.

If you need more cash back, you can pay with a debit card. On debit transactions, you can get up to $100 cash back. Find out more about Walmart’s cashback in our article, Cash Back Limit at Walmart Using Credit Card, Debit Card, Check.

How Long Does It Take for Funds to be Withdrawn from Your Bank Account?

When a personal check is processed electronically, funds usually transfer within one to two business days. And, according to Walmart’s posted policy, it’s possible that the money will be deducted as quickly as the same day. That means you can’t post date the check you pay with, as funds could be withdrawn as early as the same day.

What If Your Check Is Returned for Non-sufficient Funds?

According to the check writing policy Walmart posts in store, if there is not enough money in the customer’s bank account at the time the check is presented for payment, the customer will be charged a $35 returned check fee. Both the returned check fee and the original payment amount will then be deducted from the account by EFT or bank draft. You agree to this policy when you sign the receipt at check out.

Suggested Article: How Much Can I Overdraft My Checking Account? The Answer…

How Many Checks Can You Write Per Day?

According to Walmart and TeleCheck, there is no maximum number of checks that can be written at Walmart per day. But, a limit could be imposed by your financial institution. Your bank or credit union could put a freeze on your ability to write checks because writing multiple checks is suspicious and triggers their fraud protection services, or because you have a set daily limit attached to your account. If you plan on writing more than five checks at Walmart per day, it’s best to check with your bank or credit union ahead of time to make sure your account won’t be frozen.

In Summary

Walmart accepts personal checks for purchases. To pay with a check, you need a government-issued, photo ID. While Walmart doesn’t cash any personal checks, if you do need cash, you can get up to $20 cashback on your purchase when you pay with a check. Walmart cashes several other types of checks, including payroll checks, government checks, tax refund checks, and more, but only if they are printed.

Many major retailers also accept personal checks. You’ll always need to show a government-issued, photo ID to pay with a check, no matter which store you go to. To find out what other retail grocery stores take personal checks as payment, including their limits and requirements, see our article, What Stores Accept Personal Checks?


  • Elizabeth J Fuller says:

    I have written a few checks thinking they would clear but they didn’t. I don’t want them sent back to bank and would like to take care of them outside bank. They will charge me overdraft fee again. They were at Heath and Newark Ohio location. Please advise.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Elizabeth,

      If the checks have already been declined for non-sufficient funds, Walmart will charge you an over draft fee and attempt to withdraw the money again. Your best bet is to make sure you have enough money in your account to cover the checks, so that you won’t incur additional overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees.

  • I have a question about writing a check at Walmart. A few years ago I wrote a check and it bounced although my bank covered it. Recently I tried to write a check and was told they would not honor it because I bounced a check. I do not remember when I did this nor the amount. Is there anything I can do?

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Lynda,

      Walmart uses either Telecheck or Certegy to verify checks. Did they scan your check in a machine when you tried to pay with it, and then tell you they couldn’t accept it? That machine was either Telecheck or Certegy, and the cashier should have printed out a receipt and given it to you. The receipt has the contact number for either Telecheck or Certegy. These companies assess the riskiness of your check. They could be storing information about whether you’ve ever had a check bounce before, and that could be preventing you from using checks again. You’ll want to call the number on the receipt to sort this out.

      • Hi again Laura,
        That is the problem. I rarely write checks at Walmart (only if I don’t have cash on hand) and the last time I did was about 3 to 5 years ago. I don’t have the receipt, or check number. Is there anything I can do?

  • Hi, I wrote a check in June and now it’s October. Walmart has sent that check through 3 times, twice in September alone and and I thought they’d only send it through once since it bounced. I’ve been charged the $35 NSF bank fee three times. Is it normal policy for them to send it through repeatedly like that? I should have gotten a letter by now or a phone call. Where do I call to pay this and stop it going through another time! I read somewhere that each time it bounced Walmart also charged the NSF fee of $30, so that’s $90!

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Mary,
      It does seem odd that Walmart has sent the check through three separate times and that it’s bounced each time without you getting a notification. Your best plan of action is to contact your bank directly and request that they issue a Stop Payment on the check. Explain what’s going on and see if they can’t also remove the additional NSF fees, since you’ve been charged multiple times for the same check — and without notification.

  • My lawyers received a settlement check from GEICO. They deposited the check into their escrow account until it cleared before issuing me a check. Is the check I received from my lawyers considered a “personal” check or a settlement check? I’d like to cash it at Walmart.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Mason,

      These checks from attorneys are often business checks because they’re written against the law firm’s business checking account. If the check is pre-printed, you can probably cash it at Walmart. Walmart never cashes handwritten checks.

  • Donna Lipe says:

    I wrote a check on August 31, 2017 at Walmart and they did it electronically and Bank of America took the monies out too. I have had the monies taken out twice from my account and need to make sure you guys refund me one for $191.48.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Donna,

      Sorry, we aren’t affiliated with Walmart. You can contact Walmart by email or phone to try to get your check refunded. If you have trouble getting answers with the corporate number and email provided at Walmart’s contact page, you could also try talking to customer service at the store where you made the purchase.

  • Hello, I used a check to pay for my purchase at Walmart on the 14th of this mth (September). I was just checking my account and they still have not tried to cash the check. It’s been a week. Should I call someone? Or wait little longer? Not sure why it’s taking so long

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Kay,
      After doing a bit of digging around online, it looks like Walmart usually processes checks electronically, meaning the cash is withdrawn from your account almost immediately. Some people report that it takes 2-3 days for the funds to be withdrawn from their account though. Either way, it’s been 9 days since you paid, so your account should have been debited by now. It definitely wouldn’t hurt to call Walmart customer service at (800)925-6278 to see if they can help figure out what’s going on.

  • Jim,

    It was this past June 28th my house was broken into and the thieve or thieves stole a book of my personal checks. The thieve or thieves have cashed several checks at two different Wal-Marts without having the proper ID. I have my driver license so how is it that Wal-Mart has allowed checks to be cashed without the proper ID? The other issue is the thieve or thieves used one of my checks to return goods at the Wal-Mart store in return got cash back, how is this even possible? I had not choice but to place a seize on checking account because the person or persons who stole my personal check book was cashing checks in two different Wal-Marts like it was their checking account. I have provided TRS Recovery Services with the police report which indicated the thieves stole my personal check book, I provide the recovery services a letter from my bank about the fraudulent checks, as well a letter from landlord that her house that I rent was broken into on June 28th of this year. The problem is that TRS Recovery is still demanding payment for two checks which were part of the stolen checks. What should I do since the recovery services is still demanding payment for the stolen checks.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Jim,

      Sorry to hear your house got broken into! This sounds like a very difficult situation. Walmart doesn’t cash personal checks, so the thieves couldn’t have simply cashed any checks. I assume that they bought things and paid with checks. This usually also requires an ID, but, if you’ve paid with a check at Walmart in the past, you might still have been in Walmart’s system that records check writing history. If that was the case, the system might not have prompted the cashier to ask for an ID. If you hadn’t used checks at Walmart before, I think you should call this Walmart and find out why they accepted that check.

      I would recommend closing and reopening a new checking account with your bank, rather than just putting a seize on the account. Reopening is the most effective way of ensuring that they won’t use any of your stolen checks in the future.

      How much legal protection you have for liability on the checks depends on how quickly you notified your bank about the theft. If you let the bank know within two days, you might not be liable for the purchases. But, if you took longer, you can be liable up to $500. You can see the FTC’s complete description of the rules on protection in the case of lost or stolen bank cards here.

      • Hi Lauren, I notified the bank immediately when i noticed the first check posted to my account which the 30th which was two days from the first check was cashed as well as two days from the day my checks were stolen.The issue I’m having is I’ve never used this checking account to cash checks at Wal-Mart, ever and nor do I use checks to purchase items at Wal-Mart. That’s why I have a credit card and debit card. What’s strange is how does Wal-Mart allow my check to be used to return items at the customer service center instead of am actual receipt. I believe it was an employee at Wal-Mart who knew how yo get around the check cashing system. Secondly I’ve never shopped at the Wal-Mart were the first four checks were cashed. I intend to get an attorney and look at filing a lawsuit against Wal-Mart and Telecheck for their carelessness at not checking the persons ID at the time these transactions took place.

        • Laura Bachmann says:
          First Quarter Finance logostaff

          Hi Jim,

          Overall, Walmart’s actions with respect to your checks seem not to follow Walmart’s own policies. Best of luck following up with Walmart and Telecheck. I hope you’re able to find out why they took your checks without an ID!

  • Hello I lost my wallet a month ago a someone is using my info from my ID to process checks and purchase items from retail stores how can I put a stop and block any purchase using my name can someone please help

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello Oscar,

      I’m so sorry to hear someone’s been using your ID to process checks and purchase items from retail stores. This is a hassle to go through, but the good news is that the U.S. government has a specific website to help you report and recover from identity theft. If you go to, just click the “Get Started” button, fill in all of your information, and then you’ll get a step-by-step recovery plan that will guide you through everything you need to do to secure your ID and prevent others from making purchases in your name. Hope this helps!

  • I wrote a bad check to a walmart out of town years ago that I never paid. Will in be able to pay by check at another location before clearing the other one.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Angel,

      Unfortunately, you will not be able to write another check until the original one has been paid, regardless of the location.

  • can I use check writing privilege at any walmart in Canada and all U.S. states
    To pay my Sams club credit card balance.

  • Hello, I cashed a check at walmart then i noticed my bank returned it to walmart. The check was for 550$. I spent the money before realizing it was returned. Is walmart going to have a warrant issued for me? Will I be charged as a felon? I tried contacting manager, left a message for a return call, managed never returned call. What should I do?

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi KaJ,

      No, you won’t be charged as a felon. I’m a little unclear here about your question — Walmart doesn’t cash personal checks, so maybe you meant that you paid with one? A couple things can happen here. First, you might be charged a returned check fee by Walmart. Walmart charges $35 when checks are returned, and of course, you’re still liable for the amount of the check, and they will with draw it when funds are available in the account if possible. Second, you might be charged an overdraft fee by your bank or credit union. These fees vary widely depending on your bank, and some banks don’t even charge one if it’s the first time you’ve over drafted your account. I would recommend calling your bank to find out more about the situation with your check. It’s best to resolve these issues quickly so that you don’t risk incurring more fees.

      • Thank you I just received a letter from the collection company that telecheck uses.I tried to make good with the store manager, but not only did he not return my phone calls, he said someone will be getting intouch with me. I guess that’s who he ment, collections.