Non Negotiable Check (2023 Explanation)

A non negotiable check is a type of check that cannot be deposited into your account, nor can it be exchanged for any monetary value.

It depicts the same information printed on the same check stock paper to which you would be accustomed, however, it is a form of check that represents a transaction that has already taken place.

It’s primarily used by businesses to provide their employees a payment statement on their pay day.

It’s referred to as non negotiable because you can’t take it to your bank to deposit or cash it.

This is as opposed to a negotiable check which can be deposited since it is a physical document that guarantees that the person who has signed it will pay a specific sum of money to the person to which it is addressed.

The term “non negotiable” can also be loosely used to indicated when a check has been invalidated somehow, rendering it void in its ability to be cashed or deposited.

For example, the check can be damaged from excessive folding or tearing, causing its validity to be compromised.

Non negotiable check from employer

A non negotiable check is typically used in cases when your employer provides you with a direct deposit stub or an advice of deposit, in cases where you are paid via direct deposit.

It is a statement slip to indicate that payment has been made to your bank account, and it looks just like a check with the words “NON NEGOTIABLE” clearly printed on the front.

Non negotiable is clearly printed on the front of the check
Non negotiable is clearly printed on the front of the check.

What happens if I try to mobile deposit a non negotiable check?

If you attempt to deposit a non negotiable check using your bank’s mobile app, you will be unsuccessful in doing so.

Remember, it looks like a normal check and has all the textual and physical properties but cannot be cashed or deposited at all.

Depending on the bank app you are using, it may report an error indicating the failure to deposit, or you will be notified in due course.

Non negotiable check template

If you are running a business and employ people who have opted for direct deposit payment, you can generate your own non negotiable checks using existing templates.

The templates would provide a structure and features identical to a normal check, including the words “non negotiable” written clearly on the front of the check.

An example of a template can be seen below.

An example of a non negotiable check template
An example of a non negotiable check template.

You can print your own checks that are non negotiable so long as you use:

  • proper check stock paper
  • a capable printer
  • appropriate ink, in particular the magnetic ink for the MICR line
  • printing software

If you already create your own checks, the process would be identical. This also assumes that your business has an associated bank account for your payroll.

What does non negotiable after 90 days on a check mean?

If someone has provided you with a check with the text “non negotiable after 90 days” written on the front, it typically represents a guide as to when you should deposit it into your account.

More ubiquitously written on the check are the words “void after 90 days” which serves the same purpose.

The guide is set out by the drawer (either a business or an individual) of the check, however it is not a hard and fast rule by which one should abide, but rather a suggestion it’s probably best to cash it in sooner rather than later.

In fact, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot cash or deposit the check beyond 90 days. Your bank should still be able to honor such business checks for payroll within 180 days.

Keep in mind that this type of check is not the same as a non negotiable check which is used to provide a direct deposit statement slip and therefore cannot be deposited or cashed from its inception.

What does non negotiable mean on a cashier’s check?

If a bank issues you a non negotiable cashier’s check, it usually means that they have made payment into your nominated bank account, and they have provided a guarantee that funds are on their way.

No action is required on your part except to store away the check for record keeping.

It’s important to note that you should not and cannot deposit a non negotiable cashier’s check as it is not the same as a typical cashier’s check.


  1. Please explain to me if non negotiable check given to my new bank how long it takes to collect my funds from old bank who issued non-negotiable cashier check. Thank you.
    Mike Golden [email protected]

    • Hi Mike,
      Please do not misconstrue our comment as actional financial advice – rather consider it as guidance prior to seeking advice from a local financial advisor. With regards to the non-negotiable cashier’s check to which you are referring, if it’s non-negotiable, then it cannot be cashed or deposited. If your old bank has issued this check to you, they have essentially provided you with a pay stub indicating that they have made payment to a nominated account. If the nominated account is with the new bank, then the funds should be available in the amount of time that it takes to transfer funds from one bank to another – it really depends! I hope this helps, please update us on your situation when you can!

    • Hi Cullen,
      Could you please explain your situation a little more? I assume that you are talking about a non-negotiable check? You are asking whether taking it to the bank “will work”. What do you mean by “will work”? Do you mean that they bank will be able to deposit it into your account? If so, then this will not work, since a non-negotiable check cannot be taken into your bank to be cashed/deposited. This is the same if you were attempting to deposit it using your mobile banking app. Perhaps if you could please provide more information, we can be more deliberate in our guidance (which, by the way, should not be taken as professional financial advice). Looking forward to getting a bit more of an understanding into your situation.

  2. So I got a non negotiable check in the mail form my employer and it was literally the first time I’ve heard of it, I thought it was my regular check. So I cashed it with mobile deposit and it went through.

    • Hi John,
      Perhaps what may have happened is that you believe you cashed it in, however in actual fact, the funds came through as a result of your employer transferring the funds into your nominated bank account prior to you receiving the negotiable check (pay stub). You should not be able to cash it in through your mobile app. If this does not make sense, please seek the help of a local financial advisor.

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