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When a Check Lacks a Date
Answer by John Burnett, BOL Guru

Question: Can a personal check be honored if there is no date on it? How long is a personal check good for?

  1. If a check does not bear a date, it is considered dated as of the time it is tendered by the drawer. (UCC 3-113).

  2. In theory, a check is considered stale 6 months from its date. Of course, a bank may properly pay a check that is more than 6 months old, if it does so in good faith. Another important date is 90 days from the date the check is issued, since this is the date at which the check is considered overdue (UCC 3-304(a)(2)). This is important because in order to be a holder in due course on a negotiable instrument, you must take the instrument without notice that it's overdue. (3-302(a)(2)(iii)) You can't do that more than 90 days after the check is dated.

First published on 04/5/04

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