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I went to the bank the check was drawn on to cash it. The bank refused to cash the check because I do not have an account with them. Is this legal?

There is no federal law or regulation that requires banks to cash checks for non-customers.

Most banks have policies that allow check cashing services only for account holders. If a bank agrees to cash a check for a non-customer, it may legally charge a fee.

These policies are intended to protect the banks and their customers from forgeries.

Once a bank cashes a check that has been forged by a non-customer, it may lose money if it cannot collect from the person who cashed the check.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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