The era of writing checks for everyday purchases is closing quickly. Apple Pay, mobile wallet and the ability to pay most of your bills online eliminates many of the traditional instances that call for writing a physical check. However, there will always be situations that require official checks (also known as a cashier's check, bank check, treasurer's check or a certified check) when you need guaranteed funds.
What is an Official Check? This type of check comes from the financial institution or bank’s funds and not your own personal checking account (like a personal check would). This method is often requested when making large purchases (like a down payment on a home) to ensure the amount on the check will be covered. For example, the bank will have the funds guaranteed, unlike a check from a personal account that could potentially not have the funds available to cover the amount. This type of check can also be more secure since, unlike a traditional check, your account and routing information is not listed on the check.
How do I request an Official Check?
- Log on to USAA.com and click “My Tools” from the top navigation bar
- Click “Get Forms” (located under “Documents & Forms”)
- On the Account Forms page, Select “Banking” then “Checking and Savings” from the sub menu. You can then choose to request an Official Check by selecting “Complete Online” (circled below)
- You will then be asked to verify your account. A one time code will be sent to your phone number on file.
- You will then be asked to enter in the details:
- After clicking “next” you have the opportunity to review all of the details and make changes if necessary. Make sure all of the details are correct before submitting, no changes can be made after clicking “Submit”.
Aside from requesting an Official Check, here are the most frequently asked questions in the Member Community pertaining to official/cashier checks:
- What if I need a large Official Check? The maximum you can request online is $2,500. If the amount is over $2,500, you will need to submit a request. You can find the PDF here or by navigating to “My Tools” under the “Documents and Forms” section on usaa.com. Also, a search for "Official Check" on usaa.com will bring you to the correct document. The written request can be faxed (1-800-531-5717) Attn: Check or uploaded through "My Tools" then "Send Documents to USAA". You can also mail the form to: USAA Federal Savings Bank Attn: Check, 10750 McDermott Freeway, San Antonio, Texas 78288
- What are the holds for an Official Check? Official checks are subject to standard funds availability holds. (Depository Agreement - PDF)
- How long will it take to receive an Official Check? It depends on what type of mail method you request and the shipping address, but generally delivery via regular mail is 7-10 business days. Delivery time is 1 to 2 business days for Express and Expedited Mail. International mail may take longer.
- What if I need to cancel the Official Check? Stop payments can only be issued if the Official/Teller Check is lost or stolen. There is a 90-day waiting period from the date of issuance before a stop payment can be placed regardless of stop payment reason. If you need to request a stop payment you can download the PDF here.
Here in Member Community, we are consistently working on best ways to address some of the most commonly discussed topics. Hopefully, this clears up some of the questions you may have about obtaining an official check.
Do you have additional questions about the process? Please do not hesitate to ask in the comments!
About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (three years and one year old), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.