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Postdated Checks: What are They, and When Can They Be Cashed or Deposited?

What is a Postdated Check?

A postdated check is a check with a date in the future written on it. For example, my rent is due on September 1, 2015. If I write my check now and put “September 1, 2015” as the date, I’ve written a postdated check.

My Postdated Check Cannot Be Deposited or Cashed Until the Future Date, Right?

Not always! Under Wisconsin law, a bank may deposit or cash a postdated check “unless the customer has given notice to the bank of the postdating describing the check with reasonable certainty.” Wis. Stat. § 404.401(3) (2013-14). This means that if you do not notify your bank of the postdated check, your check may be cashed or deposited.

How Do I Give My Bank Notice with “Reasonable Certainty”?

In order to prevent your check from being cashed or deposited until the future date, call your bank and (1) identify yourself; (2) identify your account; (3) identify the check number, date, and amount; (4) identity the person the check was made out to; and (5) request that the check not be cashed or deposited until the date listed. You should also notify your bank in writing. Under Wisconsin law, your oral notice to the bank will be effective for fourteen (14) days; however, written notice is effective for six (6) months. Wis. Stat. § 404.403(2).

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