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Old 02-19-2010, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 693
How long can I keep using my old checks?

I really only use checks for one thing: to pay my rent each month. So I still have dozens if not hundreds of checks from the box that I ordered 3 years ago.

However, 2 pieces of info on the checks are outdated: my home address (moved last month), and the name of the bank (Washington Mutual became Chase). Account number and routing number have stayed the same.

The checks have been happily accepted in the several months since Washington Mutual's demise, and my first rent check at the new place was cashed with no problem. So is there really any reason to fork out another 10 bucks for a big box of checks I'll never finish using?

Last edited by The Shroud; 02-19-2010 at 06:03 PM.
Old 02-19-2010, 06:05 PM
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 23,342
All that matters is the account number and routing number. So you should be able to keep using them indefinitely.

But it certainly doesn't hurt to get new checks with your correct address on them, especially if there's ever a problem with a billing department somewhere. You want to be able to show them a canceled check with an address that matches the bill.
Old 02-19-2010, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,867
Once, I bought a bunch of cheap address labels and would stick them over the old address information on my old checks as a way of updating them. Never had any problem with them being refused. As stated, the routing and account numbers are the essential components.
Old 02-19-2010, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 744
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
All that matters is the account number and routing number.
Indeed, checks don't even have to be made of paper.
Old 02-19-2010, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Chicago, Far Northsider
Posts: 7,811
Just cross out the printed address and write in your current one.

I've been doing this for the 8 years I've been writing rent checks after moving from my previous address. Never had a problem, never bothered buying new ones, and still have about 100 left.

I'm about to buy a place, though, so in celebration I plan to buy checks with my OWNED address! Which I'll probably never need at all once my mortgage is electronically paid.

Old 02-19-2010, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,888
FWIW I have the same story (I moved, WaMu went under) and I'm still using my first box of WaMu checks. I googled the routing number and it now shows up as a Chase-JP Morgan routing number (I'd link but I don't have my checkbook on me to get the #).
Old 02-19-2010, 09:06 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 40,588
I have a checking account from the mid-80s. The bank in question has changed its name (and the checks I have show 19____________ on the date line). I have no trouble using them.
"East is East and West is West and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
Old 02-19-2010, 09:08 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Somewhere in time
Posts: 6,365
You might run into one problem though by using the older address. I had a check come back to me from someone else that lived at my address 6-7+ years ago. The post office must have destroyed the envelope and looked at the check and sent it back to me. But if you're not mailing any checks out I wouldn't worry about it at all.

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