The Safest Way to Send a Check

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Make sure your check arrives safely and on time.
Make sure your check arrives safely and on time. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

When you send a check, whether as a gift or a payment, you want to make sure it gets to the intended recipient. Checks that never arrive at their intended destination may lead to disappointment or even financial loss if you have to pay fees or penalties for a late payment. Send your checks the safest possible way to avoid unnecessary late fees and to spare yourself and the check's intended recipient aggravation.

Fold a piece of paper around the check before you put it in an envelope. This helps hide the check from anyone who tries to hold the envelope up to the light and identify its contents.

Send the check with a service that offers online tracking and a signature from the recipient. FedEx and UPS offer this service with any package they ship. The U.S. Postal Service offers tracking with its Priority Mail and Express mail options, and signature confirmation as an added service.

Monitor your check's progress on the website for the shipping service you used. It'll tell you when the check arrives and leaves each shipping depot, when the check is en route to its final delivery, and when it's been delivered.

Call the check's recipient when the tracking website says the check has been delivered. Confirm with the recipient that he received the check. If you sent the check to a large business, confirmation of receipt may not be immediately available. The signature gives you proof that the check arrived on time, which means you can dispute any late charges the business may say you owe if it loses or misplaces the check.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you need to send the check locally, use a trusted friend, relative or employee to deliver the check in person.
  • Do not send checks that the payee has endorsed on the back. That makes the check as good as cash.

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