How to Write a Check for United States Department of State

For some writing a check, the steps are straightforward while for others, who have never written a check before, find writing a check confusing. There is no one way to start writing a check. You must fill in all the appropriate spaces entirely and correctly for the check to be valid. If the check is not complete correctly, it will become invalid. In other words, it will be void.

Writing a Check With Dollars and Cents

A check could be written for a whole amount or including cents. In other words, you may need to write a check with dollars and cents. So, you will see how to write a check with dollars and cents.

Since you are writing your check to pay a debt, you will know how to write a check to a person or a company. Regardless of who the beneficiary will be, you must include a name and the amount you will pay. Also, the date and reason for writing the check. And finally, your signature for approval of the funds to be withdrawn and paid to the recipient.

Here are some steps to help you fill out a check to use as payment for a service.

Step 1:

Look at your check carefully to see where you need to put specific information. On the top right corner, you will see Date: that follows with a line. You will start by putting in the date you will write the check. You have the option to write the month, date, and year. For example, May 7th, 2018. Or, you can use numbers like 5/7/2018. The date will give you a record of when the check was written. Now you can move to the next step of writing the payee name.

Step 2:

The next step is to write the name of who you are going to pay the check. On the check, you will see Pay to the Order of which is followed by a long line. Above the line write the Person or Company name. Make sure you spell the name correctly. If not, the person or company cannot cash the check. If you have the information somewhere, retrieve it to verify the spelling is correct. Once you are finished writing the name, now fill in the box. This will be the next step.

Step 3:

After filling the space with the payee name, now you will fill the box that follows with the amount you will pay. You will write in the numbers. Now, remember you are paying for a transaction, so you are dealing with money. You must write the whole amount first and follow it with a decimal and the cents amount. For example, write it like this 150.75. If the amount is a whole number, write two zeros after the decimal. Now that you are finished with this, you will write the amount again; but this time in words. That will be your next step.

Step 4:

There are two spots on the check you must write the amount you pay. The first was in numbers; the second is in words. It will be written below the person or company name you wrote before. This is an underlined blank space that is followed by the word Dollars. Remember, you are paying $150.75 (we are using this as an example), so we write this number in words. For example, One hundred fifty and 75/100. Since there is not enough space to write the entire amount in words, the cents amount is written over 100. If it is just a whole amount, write two zeros (00/100) over one hundred.

Step 5:

The next step is to write next to Memo the reason you are writing the check. If you are paying a bill, you can write “Water Bill” or “Cut the lawn” in the memo. It will help you to keep track of why you wrote the check. You can also write the account number of the bill if you know it. Filling the Memo is optional. So, you can fill it in if you wish to do so.

Step 6:

This last step is the most important part of filling a check. At the bottom right of the check, you will sign your name. Make sure the signature is the one you use on your account. It tells the bank that you agree to pay the amount on the check. The bank will use your signature to compare it to the one they have on file. If your signatures do not match, the check will be flagged as fraudulent.

Once you complete filling out your check, verify that you:

  • Fill in the correct date
  • Spell the payee name correctly
  • Write the exact amount of numbers
  • The amount written in words match the numerical amount
  • Write the reason for the check (optional)
  • Sign your signature

Record your Transaction

To prevent yourself from spending the money you just paid out, record the amount you paid on a balance sheet or on wherever you usually record you’re spending. We all know that checks can take a while before they get cashed, so it is best to keep a record of what you pay and the remaining amount of money you have in your account. To record your transaction, write the date, the amount spent, and the reason for the payment. The more details you have, the more clarity you will have of your spending.


Some may say why do I need a check or a checkbook if most transactions can be done electronically. Well, not all places accept electronic payments. For example, you may encounter some businesses prefer a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check as a form of payment. If you apply for a passport, a cashier’s check or money order are acceptable forms of payments.

So, when you encounter an establishment that does require a check as an option of payment, this guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to write a check. After writing your first check, the rest is history. It is something you will never forget how to do. The best advice after writing a check is always to keep a record of the payments you make. It will help you not to be charged overdraft fees by your back or delay your payment.