How To Cash A Government Check For Someone In Jail

How To Cash A Government Check For Someone In Jail

Inevitable ups and downs come in life. At one moment, you are with your friends and family, and at another moment, you don’t know your fate. Many of our loved ones are serving time in prison for their doings. But it becomes the duty of their loved ones to deal with their matters outside the jail.

The person outside the jail can freely deal with his financial proceedings, for example, cashing checks and maintaining their bank balance. But when in prison, an incarcerated person has certain limitations. What if you have to cash the government check for a person in jail? How can you do it? So in this article, we will describe how to cash a government check for someone in jail by legal means, so keep on reading.

Can a person in jail receive checks? Can I cash them for him?

A person, when locked up, has some financial dealings that require major attention. A prisoner can receive checks in jail and open a bank account by power of attorney(POA), as it’s the legal right of every prisoner to have a hold of his funds, even in a cell. But he can have a limited amount from it during his prison time. 

A beneficiary or a close relative can also deal with his funds outside for him and cash checks for him as a right of POA. Draft up a Power of Attorney to have authority over his finances. Or go to his bank and discuss the situation with them and explain how you want to be able to cash his check but he is incarcerated. You are unable to obtain his signature. 

Most banks will work with you providing you can give proof of his whereabouts and evidence that he is accepting of you cashing his check. You have to do a little footwork.

Requirements when cashing a government check of a prisoner

Different government checks have additional requirements when cashing them, especially for a person who is locked up and serving a stance.

In case of a TAX refund checks

You will need his:

  • Social security number to cash an IRS tax refund check for a prisoner.
  • Tax filer identification number (TIN) and beneficiary details.

In the case of Stimulus Checks

When cashing stimulus checks for the prisoner, you will need the US residency address of the prisoner, his social security number and Tax filer identification number and his yearly income report.

Can Imprisoned persons receive stimulus checks

The government releases stimulus checks in case of natural disasters and economic uncertainty to those tax-exempted people who lost their jobs during the pandemic. This fund is to sustain their living style and aid them in getting through this period. Even in prison, yes, he can receive a stimulus if he is declared tax exempted from tax filing.

Different ways to cash a government check for an incarcerated person

There are different ways to cash a check. It depends on your preference and conditions. So we will discuss each that may help you out.

By a mutual In Trust account

The Attorney general from the state issues a letter to the respective bank where the prisoner wants to open a checking account upon request. Consider a mutual person outside the jail as a trustee of his financial assets. 

When you want to cash a check for someone in jail, you can cash it through the mutual trust account. But you must cash it from the bank where the In trust account is opened. The cashing procedure may take upto ten days to cash the check. Or either it is directly deposited into the account.

( Note: There are certain limitations to the IN TRUST account according to the permission granted by the account holder, as he may give you full authority to cash the check or give you the grant to deposit it into the account.)

How to cash the check of a prisoner from your bank

There are two conditions to cash the check for someone in prison, 

  • To endorse their check from them and attach a copy of their ID card to cash the check. 
  • Or ask the person to transfer to your name so you can cash the third-party check for him.

Valid Forms of prisoner IDs that can be used to cash the check

Some other forms of IDs of a person in jail that can be used to cash the check are:

  • Driving License if not suspended in the act.
  • Passport if not ceased due to criminal activity.
  • VISA.
  • Arms License if not terminated by the court.

Can you transfer a government check to a third party?

Yes, a government check can be transferred to a third party if the payee uses a proper endorsement method. No law states that a government check cannot be endorsed to a third party. It is up to the depositary bank or checks cashier to decide its policies about accepting such statements.

When you have received the check, you can go to the bank where you already have an account. Then go to the representative of the bank and follow the steps:

  • Ask for the charges of cashing if there are any.
  • Endorse the check on the backside. (i.e., sign the check)
  • Fill out the payment slip if they ask to and sign it.
  • Take your cash, and you are good to go.

Sometimes the banks don’t have enough cash at that moment. They give you a down payment of the check. For example, for a check of $1000, they will provide you with around $200, and the rest will be deposited into your bank account. Sometimes the bank may verify the check from the writing authority. After the verification, you can cash the check or direct deposit it into prisoners or your account.

Cash A Check Without A Bank Account From The Drawn Bank

You can also cash his check from the issuing bank if you don’t have a bank account. They will charge some fee to cash the check. It will be some percentage of the check amount. You will receive the payment in cash, or they will deposit it into the prisoner’s account. Depending on the bank service quality, this may take 2-3 business days. You have to go to the writer’s bank and follow the steps:

  • Endorse the check with your signature on the backside.
  • Present the check before the cashier.
  • He will ask for a copy of your National photo ID. If it’s been transferred to your name, otherwise, he will ask for the ID of the person in the cell. It’s for security purposes and safekeeping. So they can keep a record of withdrawals.
  • After verification, he will cash the check.

It is beneficial to go to the check writer’s bank. Because they have access to the questioning amount from the writer’s check and will provide you with the total amount immediately.

Cashing a check using cell phones

Many banks provide a facility to cash checks without paying a visit to the bank. It is done by using banking apps. If you have access to the prisoner’s cell phone. Then you can use his mobile banking app to cash the check. Follow these steps to cash a check by using a cell phone:

  • Firstly endorse the check.
  • Now upload clear pictures of the front and back of the check through the app.
  • Wait for the confirmation message.

The amount is shortly deposited to his account, depending upon his bank. Or you have to wait 2-3 business days for the process. Later, you can use his debit card to withdraw an amount from his account.

Cashing a government check at an ATM

Many banks have modern ATMs that can instantly provide you with the service. You have to deposit a check at one of the bank’s ATMs. The amount will be immediately transferred to the prisoner’s account or after 2-3 business days. So here is how to do it:

  • Insert his debit card into the respective bank ATM.
  • Enter the pin to access the menu.
  • From there, select the “Deposit Check” service.
  • Now insert the check in the check deposit slot.
  • Confirm the amount written on the check.
  • Now withdraw the amount you want.

You can only cash a check from the ATM of those banks where he has a registered account. Other ATMs may or may not provide this service. 

How To Cash The Check When In A Hurry?

Sometimes when you are in a hurry and need the prisoner’s check to be cashed instantly, you can use the following methods to cash a check.

Cash it from a retailer

You can cash a check from several retailers or grocery stores. They usually charge less than the writer’s bank. You can either purchase the amount of the check or get the cash instantly. 

Some retailers may ask for your Photo ID copy or any identification documents.Moreover, some retailers won’t cash it unless you are their premium member. One safety measure that should be followed while cashing a check is always don’t sign the back of the check unless you need to cash the check.

Check Cashing Stores

Many private companies provide the service of instantly cashing the check. These companies are known for their high charges because they may charge upto 8% of your check amount for instant cash. Because they know they are dealing with customers who need money as soon as possible. 

Moreover, it is because they cash the check on risk without verification of the person. They require a copy of a legal identification document for security purposes. So always have it with you when you are using such companies.

Using A Friends Favor

You can ask your friend for this favour if you have good company. You can ask your friend to keep the check of prisoner, and he will give you the cash for the written amount. It is the best way to cash the check if you are in a hurry. 

(Note: If the prisoner is not transferring the check to you, he must have to endorse the check with his signature before you can cash it.)

Is there any due date to cash a government check

The state issues certain checks with a specific due date under which the check has to be cashed. After the due date, the check becomes useless. So it is better to cash the check before the due date.

Safety Measures while cashing a government check for a prisoner

It would be best if you took specific safety measures while cashing a check for a person in jail. It will not only promise smoother service but will also save you from many problems.

  • Always verify the person/organization that wrote the check.
  • Check the address and last and first name of the person/ Organization.
  • Ask for the contact information of the writer in case you have to reach them.
  • The check is made through a legitimate bank.
  • Check if sufficient funds are in the check writer’s account, which covers the check amount.
  • Check for the credentials of the check. It is necessary that your name is written correctly on the check and it matches the prisoner’s name on his Valid PHOTO ID. Bank won’t cash the check if your name is written according to his identification document.
  • Always look for endorsement details. Check the date and amount and verify if they are written correctly.
  • Check for the owner of the account signature. Without the owner’s signature, you won’t be able to cash the check.
  • Endorse and sign the backside of the check before you cash it in case of a third-party check. Otherwise, ask the person in jail to endorse it, as you will cash it for him.
  • If the check is written in the payee of more than one. All payees have to endorse and sign the backside of the check.
  • But if they manage a single joint account, only one can cash the check by signing it individually.
  • Try to cash the check on the date it is given to you. Some checks have validity dates. After those dates, you won’t be able to cash the check.
  • Make sure the person you are trying to cash the check for has no pending debts with the state.


We hope this article has helped you cash a government check for someone in jail. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments.


Yes, you can cash these checks from the issuing bank.

It depends on which service you are using. If you are cashing it from the prisoner’s bank, there will be no charges. But if you use any of the services mentioned above, there will be some charges.

Yes, you can deposit the check, whether it’s govt or personal, in your savings account if it’s valid and the person has transferred / Endorsed it to you.

To cash a check for your husband, he has to give a power of attorney to handle his account. Then you can cash his check.

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