Check 21

What is a substitute check?

To make check processing faster, Federal law permits banks to replace original checks with “substitute checks.” These checks are similar in size to original checks with a slightly reduced image of the front and back of the original check. The front of a substitute check states: “This is a legal copy of your check. You can use it the same way you would use the original check.” You may use a substitute check as a proof of payment just like the original check.

Reconverting Bank:

A reconverting bank is one that creates substitute checks itself, or one that accepts substitute checks for deposit from its customers and introduces these items into the check collection or return process. This bank is not a reconverting bank in that it does not create substitute checks and it does not process these items for its customers. Therefore, the customer will not, without the bank’s express advance written consent, deposit any substitute check into an account.

Item Standards:

Additional liability is created under Check 21 for any bank that introduces into the check collection or return process any item on which the necessary elements (name, account numbers, dates, amounts, signature, endorsements, etc.) are not clearly legible when they are imaged or copied. Therefore, the customer will not write or deposit a check that is written in an ink type or color that does not reproduce clearly when imaged or copied. Further, the customer will not write or deposit a check that bears designs, security features, or other elements that prevent the check from being imaged or copied with all of its necessary elements being reproduced clearly.


Please contact us at 916-830-3560 if you have any questions about this disclosure or need assistance with your account.