What Do You Need to Cash a Check? ID Requirements & More Explained

Short Answer: Places that cash checks will generally want you to provide one to two pieces of identification, including an official government ID with your picture on it. You also must show the original check that you plan to cash. Other requirements vary from chain to chain and sometimes from location to location. We’ve compiled the details below.

What Do You Need to Cash a Check?

In general, most places that cash checks will require one to two pieces of identification, one of which should be a valid, government-issued photo ID. You also must provide the original check that you plan to cash (not a photocopy) and all parts of the check must be intact/legible.

Commonly accepted checks include:

  • Person-to-person checks (i.e., second-party checks)
  • Payroll checks
  • Government checks
  • Business checks
  • Tax refund checks
  • Stimulus checks
  • Child support checks

Understand that many places that cash checks won’t want to cash a third-party check — a check that is signed over to you rather than originally made out to you. For more information about third-party checks, see our list of banks that accept third-party checks and other places that cash third-party checks.

We reached out to nationwide and regional institutions in three different sectors: banking, payday lending or check cashing stores, and grocery stores. In the sections below, we’ve detailed what you will generally need to cash a check in each sector, the businesses we contacted, and any unique requirements they may have.

Note that unique requirements may vary from location to location, and you should always check with your local bank, check cashing store, or grocery store about its requirements before attempting to cash a check. Also, for more information about check cashing, see our list of places that cash checks near you and report on check cashing fees by state and place.

What Do You Need to Cash a Check at a Bank?

Most banks will require account holders to present two pieces of ID. One of these should be a government-issued photo ID, and the other can be a credit or debit card. Some banks will not allow account holders to cash a check unless they have enough of a balance to cover the amount of the check.

Some banks will allow non-customers to cash checks, although they typically levy a fee of $10 or less. Finally, some banks that don’t usually cash checks for individuals without an account will cash a check if it was drawn from that particular bank.

Below is a list of major banks and their check cashing requirements. We spoke with customer service representatives at each bank to obtain this information.

Bank of America

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? No
  • What you’ll need to bring: Two forms of ID

BBVA

Note: BBVA cannot cash government or stimulus checks.

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? Yes
  • What you’ll need to bring: One photo ID

BB&T Bank

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? Only if check is drawn on a BB&T account
  • What you’ll need to bring: Two forms of ID

Chase

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? Yes
  • What you’ll need to bring: Two forms of ID

Fifth Third Bank

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? Yes, but you must schedule an appointment and provide a photo ID, your Social Security number, and basic personal information.
  • What you’ll need to bring: One photo ID

HSBC

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? Only if check is drawn on an HSBC account
  • What you’ll need to bring: Two forms of ID

Regions

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? Yes, but you must complete a one-time registration into the bank’s system.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Two forms of ID

Wells Fargo

  • Will cash checks for non-customers? Only if check is drawn on a Wells Fargo account
  • What you’ll need to bring: Two forms of ID

What Do You Need to Cash a Check at a Check-Cashing Store?

Check-cashing stores and payday lenders cash most kinds of private, payroll, and government checks, and they generally require only one form of photo ID. Some check-cashing stores will also ask for you to provide your Social Security number. To obtain this information, we contacted several major check-cashing stores, including ACE Cash Express, Amscot, Check Into Cash, and Check ‘n Go.

What Do You Need to Cash a Check at a Grocery Store?

Grocery stores vary widely in the kinds of checks they cash and the forms of ID they require. None of the stores we contacted would cash third-party checks, and many refuse to cash second-party checks (i.e., personal checks handwritten to you). Many will cash payroll or government checks, although their daily limits may be as low as $300 or less.

None of the grocery stores with which we spoke required more than a single form of photo ID. Many prefer or require driver’s licenses, depending on the forms of ID their verification systems will accept.

Below is a list of major grocery stores and what you’ll need to cash a check with each store. Keep in mind that services offered may vary by location; it’s a good idea to check with your local store to make sure it can cash your check. To get this information, we spoke with customer service representatives for each of these stores.

Albertsons

  • Restrictions: Payroll checks must be computer-generated and cannot bear handwritten signatures.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Baker’s

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Dillons

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Food City

  • Restrictions: No personal checks; will only cash local payroll checks
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Food Lion

  • Restrictions: Payroll and government checks have a maximum amount of $1,000.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Fred Meyer

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID; must also provide your Social Security number

Fry’s Food

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Giant Eagle

  • Restrictions: Payroll checks have a maximum amount of $1,000; you may cash personal checks from your own account up to $30 with prior registration of your Giant Eagle Advantage Card.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Hannaford

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID; must also provide your Social Security number

H-E-B

  • Restrictions: No two-party checks
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID; must also provide your Social Security number

Hy-Vee

  • Restrictions: No out-of-state or two-party checks
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

King Soopers

  • Restrictions: No two-party checks
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Kroger

  • Restrictions: No two-party checks
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID; must also provide Social Security number

Market Basket

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Price Chopper

  • Restrictions: You may only cash payroll checks if you have pre-approved check-cashing privileges through your AdvantEdge Card.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Publix

  • Restrictions: Payroll checks have a maximum amount of $500.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Safeway

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Shaw’s

  • Restrictions: None
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Stop & Shop

  • Restrictions: You may only cash payroll and government checks if you have pre-approved check-cashing privileges through your Stop & Shop Card, which may require four to six weeks for processing.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Tops Friendly Markets

  • Restrictions: No government or two-party checks; payroll checks typically have a maximum of $400.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Walmart

Note: For more details, see our research on Walmart’s check cashing policy.

  • Restrictions: No two-party checks
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

WinCo Foods

  • Restrictions: Payroll checks have a maximum of $1,000; will not cash some kinds of government checks
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID

Winn-Dixie

  • Restrictions: Checks have a maximum amount of $1,500.
  • What you’ll need to bring: Photo ID