Walmart Personal Check Writing Policy: Requirements, Verification, etc

the checkout lines at walmart

Short Answer

Walmart accepts personal checks as payment at regular registers, but not at self-checkout or for online orders. To pay by check, you’ll need to show a photo ID and pass third-party check verification through TeleCheck or Certegy. For more details of the Walmart check writing policy, see below.

Walmart Personal Check Writing Policy

All Walmart stores accept personal checks as payment at the register.[1]

However, you can’t use a personal check to pay for a order[2] or make purchases at self-checkout. Self-checkout machines don’t have the capability to scan checks or verify your ID.[1]

If you recently opened your bank account, note that Walmart doesn’t accept starter checks (as previously reported). See our related research for more stores that take personal checks.

To find out more about Walmart’s personal check writing policy, we contacted the retailer’s corporate customer service department and stores in Delaware, Tennessee, and Washington.


To write a check at Walmart, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:[1]

You must provide identification.

You’ll need to show a government-issued, valid photo ID. The cashier may also ask for your phone number.

Walmart accepts the following forms of ID:

  • Driver’s licenses
  • State ID cards
  • Military IDs
  • U.S. passports
  • Foreign passports (at the manager’s discretion)

Your name must be on the check.

To prevent check fraud, Walmart will only accept your check if the name on the check matches the name on your ID.

If your name is on the account but doesn’t appear on the check, you won’t be able to use it. Exceptions can be made for business checks, but not personal checks.

Your check must pass third-party verification.

Walmart stores use TeleCheck or Certegy to assess risk when accepting checks. The third-party verification system may deny your check, in which case you’ll need to pay with a different method.

Note that it makes no difference whether you’re paying with an in-state or out-of-state check. If you’re traveling outside of your home state and need to use a check at Walmart, the requirements and process will be the same as in your state of residence.[1]


There is no maximum number of checks that you can write per day at Walmart.[1]

However, note that your bank or credit union might impose a limit. Some accounts have check-writing limits or daily spending limits in their account agreements; banks may also freeze your ability to write checks as a fraud protection measure.[3][4]

Limits vary by account, but in general, if you plan to write more than five checks in one day, it’s best to check with your financial institution ahead of time.


As noted above, Walmart will use either TeleCheck or Certegy to verify your check — most locations use TeleCheck.[5]

These companies are the largest providers of check verification services for retail, so if you often pay by check at stores, you likely have an active TeleCheck and/or Certegy file.

Walmart will run every check you write through third-party verification. By paying with a check, you consent to have your check processed this way.

TeleCheck or Certegy will run the check information (account number, routing number, transaction amount, etc.) against its database to determine whether the check would be risky for the retailer to accept.[6][7]

Check verification helps Walmart avoid accepting bad checks and reduces check fraud, but TeleCheck or Certegy may also decline your check for reasons not related to fraud.

For example, a bank account number not seen by TeleCheck before can lead to a decline.[8]

If Walmart does decline your check after verification, both TeleCheck and Certegy offer declined check lookup services online so you can find out why.

Cash Back

Walmart allows you to get up to $20 cash back when paying by personal check.[1]

Make the check out for up to $20 more than the purchase price; after the cashier verifies the check, you’ll receive $20 cash back.

Before writing your check, you may want to ask the cashier to be sure there’s enough cash on hand at that specific register.

If you need more than $20 cash back, it’s best to pay with a debit card. See our related research for more on getting cash back at Walmart.


When Walmart processes your check electronically, the money may deduct from your bank account the same day;[1] however, the funds will usually transfer from your bank account within one to two business days.[9]

Walmart doesn’t accept postdated checks.[1]

Returned Checks

If there isn’t enough money in your bank account at the time you write a check, you’ll be charged a $35 returned check fee. Walmart will deduct both the returned check fee and the original payment amount from your bank account electronically.[1]

You agree to this policy when you sign your receipt at the checkout, so you’ll be responsible for the fee (and any fees charged by your bank) if you write a bad check.


150 comments - Comments are closed.

  • Elizabeth J Fuller

    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.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      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.

  • Lynda

    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?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      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.

      • Lynda

        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?

  • Mary

    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!

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Kathleen Wilson

      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.

      • Mary

        Thanks, I sure will.

  • Mason

    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.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      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

    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.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      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.

  • Kay

    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

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Kathleen Wilson

      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.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      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.

      • Jim

        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.

        • First Quarter Finance logo
          First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

          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!

  • Oscar

    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

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Kathleen Wilson

      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!

  • Angel

    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.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Rebecca Turley

      Hi Angel,

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

  • James

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

  • KaJ

    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?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      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.

      • Kaj

        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.

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