How to Mail a Check Safely

There are times when you’ll need to send a large amount of money for something. Maybe a family member or friend who lives far away is having a birthday.

Perhaps it’s a bill that needs to be paid. While writing checks may not be the most common thing in everyday life anymore, they still come in handy.

Even if you don’t do it all the time, it’s important to know how this process works. When you want to give someone money from a distance, here’s how to mail a check safely. 

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Can You Send a Check in the Mail Safely?

Are you wondering about mailing a check and whether it’s safe? Maybe you aren’t sure about it getting to the intended person without difficulty, or you think it could get lost or stolen.

These are valid concerns, but you’ll be happy to know there are ways to help keep your check safe in the mail. If you follow some simple suggestions, you decrease the risk of theft.

To send a check through the mail while also keeping your peace of mind, it pays to take precautions. There are some common sense things to be aware of.

Make sure you correctly address your envelope and seal it correctly, so there’s no chance of the check falling out. 

There are some more detailed precautions you can take as well, which I’ll outline later.

How Do I Mail a Check Through USPS?

Here are some steps to take when mailing a check with the US Postal Service. They are easy to follow and can help your mail arrive safely.

1. Fill in Check Details

Fill in the check with complete details, including the specific person/business that can cash the check in the payee blank. This is important because it identifies who is and isn’t supposed to cash the check.

It also gives the necessary information so that the person cashing knows how much the check is for and who it’s from.

2. Use a Security Envelope

Use a security envelope so that the contents are hidden. A security envelope features a pattern on the inside of the envelope.

That way, no one can tell what’s in it, which increases safety. No one will be able to know that it contains a check, and there is less likelihood your mail will be stolen.

3. Seal Envelope Securely

Seal the envelope securely. This is obvious. You don’t want the check to fall out on the way to its destination, so be sure to seal the envelope correctly and don’t leave any gaps in the seal.

4. Address the Envelope

Address the envelope accurately, including the return address. You want to make sure the check gets to the correct place.

Be sure to properly address it to the recipient to avoid confusion or your mail getting lost. You should also be sure to include your address in the return section in case there’s trouble delivering the check.

5. Attach Proper Postage

Make sure proper postage is attached to the envelope. Use the correct amount of postage to get your check to its destination.

You can use Forever stamps or ask at your local post office if you’re unsure if you have enough postage. 

6. Add Tracking and Send

If you want extra security, you can add tracking or signature confirmation to your envelope. This costs extra but can give you peace of mind.

Then, put the envelope directly in a USPS box or use another trusted service. Be sure to send your check through the proper channels. Ensure that USPS has the check so it can be delivered. 

Is it Better to Send a Check or Cash in the Mail?

With checks being a bit of a hassle, you may wonder if sending cash would be better than sending a check. The answer is no. Sending money in the mail is rarely a good idea.

There’s no way to track it, and if it gets lost or stolen, it’s just gone. When sending money through the mail, you should always opt for a check for safety purposes.

You should also remember not to send checks with the word “cash” written in the payee blank. This will mean that anyone who has the check can cash it out instead of the intended recipeient.

How Do You Send a Check to Someone?

The first thing you need to do is put the name of the person you want to receive the check into the payee blank. You must add their name because if you leave it blank or make it out to cash, anyone can take the money.

You should also address the envelope to them when you send a check through the mail. You need to remember to add the recipient’s name both on the check itself and on the envelope.

That way, the right person opens up the envelope and gets the check to deposit into their account. It prevents confusion and makes things easier when mailing.

What Precautions Should be Taken to Mail Checks Safely?

1. Use a dark-colored or security envelope that hides the contents

This is among the first things you can do to keep your check secure if you decide to mail it. A security envelope with a pattern or a dark-colored envelope if you don’t have a security one, can help prevent any issues with theft.

2. Consider paying extra for a tracking service to ensure that your check arrives

If you pay for tracking, you’ll know exactly where the check is at all times. You can bypass worries about it getting lost in the mail, and if something happens to it, you’ll know. 

3. Use certified mail

If you use certified mail, your item will need a signature upon delivery, and you’ll be informed that it arrived. This makes sending checks much more secure. 

4. Wrap your check in a letter inside the envelope

For extra security, wrap your check in a letter or note. That way, if someone does try to see what’s in the envelope, they won’t think there’s a check inside it because it will look like it’s just a letter. 

5. Hide the check inside a greeting card

In the same way that the check will be hidden in a letter, it can also be hidden inside a greeting card. It will look like it’s just a card, so it should make it more secure. 

6. Never write any personal information like a driver’s license, social security number, etc., on your check

This should really go without saying since a check doesn’t require you to write this kind of information anyway. You should never add anything this personal to a check, as your information could get stolen. 

7. Restrict the check by writing “For Deposit Only” on the back

Writing “For Deposit Only” means that the business or person receiving the check can only deposit it in their account. This makes your check more secure.

Alternatives to Sending Checks in the Mail

You can do other things to get money to someone if you are unsure about sending a check in the mail. Some people may not want to send a check by mail due to security issues, but getting money to someone in other ways is fairly simple.

  • Venmo. If you are concerned about someone not getting the money you’re trying to send them, opt for a techy solution like Venmo. You can send payments to friends using your phones and an app. That way, there’s no problem anytime you split a dinner check or send someone money for a special occasion. It’s an easy and fast method. 
  • Deposit directly into someone’s account from the bank. This is probably best when you need to send money to a very close friend or family member because you will need their bank information to do this. But it can be an effective and safe way to get money to their account quickly.
  • PayPal. PayPal is an easy way to pay people online. It’s often used for business purposes, but you can use PayPal for personal use, as well. Send money to anyone you want to using this platform. It’s much faster than mailing a check, also, so some people may prefer it.
  • Apple Pay. Apple Pay is a quick and easy method for transferring money to others, as long as they have the correct type of device. You can send people money that goes to their Apple Cash.

Use Precautions to Safely Send a Check Through the Mail

Sending a check through the mail is sometimes a good idea, provided you take the proper precautions. Make it difficult for someone to see the check inside the envelope, fill in the check information correctly, and track your check in the mail until it is delivered.

You should also be sure to never send cash and consider using another method to deliver money when possible, such as giving someone a check in person. These things will help you get your check safely to the right person, who can then deposit it in their bank account.

You might also consider avoiding checks altogether by using a different solution, such as an app or directly depositing the money into someone’s bank account. If you do this, you can pretty much guarantee safety for your money as it’s sent to the recipient. 

No matter what you choose to do, use common sense when mailing a check, and you shouldn’t have any problems getting it to the right person.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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