How to Take Large Sums From Your Checking Account

You cannot take large sums of money from your bank's ATM.
You cannot take large sums of money from your bank's ATM. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Your checking account may say that you have a large sum of money available, but that does not mean that your bank has the entire sum in its vault. Large transactions (about more than $5,000) likely need advance notice at your bank. Banks take precautions to prevent losses in the event of a robbery or heist and may need time to compile the money that you are requesting. Your bank can further explain its specific details regarding large money transactions.

Check your account balance before the withdrawal to see that any pending deposits have cleared and that the money is actually in your account. If you deposited a large check or other money source into your bank, the bank may need a week or more to process the funds. The bank will not let you withdraw the money if the deposit is pending.

Contact the bank beforehand to notify it of your upcoming withdrawal. The bank may need 24 hours or more to transfer money between institutions to ensure that your withdrawal does not empty its cash reserves for the day. You can visit multiple branches in the same day to meet your withdrawal amount, but doing so could seem suspicious to federal regulators. Similarly, so could returning to the branch repeatedly over a few days. Let the bank gather your total withdrawal if you have the time.

Take at least two forms of identification and a voided check (if possible) to your bank. A driver's license and a debit or credit card usually suffice for identification. Your bank will not allow a large withdrawal if it cannot verify that you are the owner of the checking account.

Take a trusted friend to the bank to ensure your safety after the withdrawal. Carrying large amounts of cash or a big money order makes the threat of robbery an even greater concern. Your friend will decrease your vulnerability to mugging or other robbery. Once you have your money, head directly to your next destination or place in which you plan to drop the money off.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cash withdrawals of $10,000 or more per day are reported to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, according to federal law. If you make multiple cash withdrawals of less than $10,000 over many days, the Internal Revenue Service or FDIC may investigate your finances.

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