Walmart Personal Check Writing Policy Explained

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 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.


  • 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.

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