How to Write a Cancelled Cheque: A Comprehensive Guide

Writing a cancelled cheque may seem like a simple task, but it is essential to understand the correct procedure to avoid any confusion or complications. Whether you need to provide a cancelled cheque for setting up automatic payments, verifying your bank account details, or any other financial transaction, this article will guide you through the process step by step. By the end, you will have a clear understanding of how to write a cancelled cheque and why it is necessary.

What is a Cancelled Cheque?

A cancelled cheque is a cheque that has been marked as “cancelled” by the account holder. It is used as a proof of ownership of the bank account and provides important information such as the account number, account holder’s name, and bank details. While the cheque itself cannot be used for any financial transaction, it serves as a document to verify the account details.

Why Do You Need a Cancelled Cheque?

There are several situations where you may be required to provide a cancelled cheque:

  • Setting up automatic payments: Many organizations, such as utility companies, insurance providers, and loan agencies, require a cancelled cheque to set up automatic payments from your bank account.
  • Verifying bank account details: When applying for various financial services, such as loans, credit cards, or investments, the financial institution may ask for a cancelled cheque to verify your bank account details.
  • Direct deposit: If you receive payments from your employer or government benefits directly into your bank account, they may request a cancelled cheque to ensure accurate deposit information.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Cancelled Cheque

Follow these steps to write a cancelled cheque correctly:

Step 1: Gather the Required Materials

Before you start writing a cancelled cheque, make sure you have the following materials:

  • A blank cheque from your bank account
  • A pen with permanent ink

Step 2: Fill in the Date

Start by filling in the date on the cheque. Write the current date in the designated space provided on the cheque. Make sure the date is legible and accurate.

Step 3: Write the Payee’s Name

In the “Pay” or “Pay to the Order of” field, write the word “CANCELLED” or “VOID” in capital letters. This indicates that the cheque is cancelled and cannot be used for any financial transaction. It is important to write this clearly to avoid any confusion.

Step 4: Cross Out the Bearer Word

Next, cross out the word “Bearer” on the cheque. This ensures that the cheque can only be deposited into the account of the payee whose name is mentioned.

Step 5: Sign the Cheque

Sign the cheque in the designated space provided. Make sure your signature matches the signature you have used while opening the bank account. This signature serves as a verification of your identity.

Step 6: Tear the Cheque

Tear the cheque into two or more pieces. It is important to tear it in a way that makes it impossible to reconstruct the cheque. This ensures that the cancelled cheque cannot be misused.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While writing a cancelled cheque, it is crucial to avoid certain mistakes to ensure the cheque is valid and serves its purpose. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Using a cheque that is not from your own bank account: Always use a blank cheque from your own bank account to write a cancelled cheque. Using a cheque from another account may lead to confusion and rejection.
  • Not writing “CANCELLED” or “VOID” clearly: Make sure to write the word “CANCELLED” or “VOID” in a clear and legible manner. This ensures that the cheque is easily identifiable as cancelled.
  • Forgetting to sign the cheque: Your signature is essential to validate the cheque. Double-check that you have signed the cheque before tearing it.
  • Tearing the cheque improperly: Tear the cheque into multiple pieces, ensuring that it cannot be reconstructed. Improper tearing may lead to the cheque being considered valid.


Q1: Can I use a photocopy of a cancelled cheque?

No, it is not recommended to use a photocopy of a cancelled cheque. Photocopies can be easily manipulated or misused. Always use an original cancelled cheque to ensure its authenticity.

Q2: Can I use an electronic image of a cancelled cheque?

In some cases, financial institutions may accept electronic images of cancelled cheques. However, it is advisable to check with the specific organization or institution beforehand to ensure their acceptance of electronic images.

Q3: How long is a cancelled cheque valid?

A cancelled cheque is typically valid for a specific period, usually three to six months. However, it is recommended to provide a recent cancelled cheque to avoid any potential issues.

Q4: Can I use a cancelled cheque for multiple purposes?

Yes, you can use a cancelled cheque for multiple purposes as long as the required information is clearly visible and legible. However, it is advisable to provide separate cancelled cheques for different purposes to avoid any confusion.

Q5: Can I cancel a cheque that has already been issued?

No, once a cheque has been issued, it cannot be cancelled. However, you can contact your bank and request a stop payment on the cheque to prevent it from being cashed.


Writing a cancelled cheque is a simple yet important task that requires attention to detail. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can ensure that your cancelled cheque is valid and serves its intended purpose. Remember to use a blank cheque from your own bank account, write “CANCELLED” or “VOID” clearly, sign the cheque, and tear it into multiple pieces. Avoid common mistakes and always provide a recent cancelled cheque for verification purposes. By understanding the process and importance of writing a cancelled cheque, you can confidently handle any situation that requires this document.

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