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Check 21

Check Clearing Enters the 21st Century

The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21) was signed into law on October 28, 2003, with an effective date of October 28, 2004.

The new law allows for "substitute checks", which are printed images of the front and back of the original check. These substitute checks have the same legal status as the original paper check and are processed in the same way.

With approximately 42 billion checks written in the United States each year, financial institutions are embracing check imaging as a way to reduce transportation and processing costs and make check clearing a more efficient process.

Below are some frequently asked questions on "Check 21". Remember, if you still have any questions, you may contact us at 1-740-743-1349.

What is Check 21?

Short for Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act; it is a new federal law passed by Congress to improve check collections among financial institutions. Checks will no longer need to be physically transferred from one location to another during their processing. Under the new law, check clearing will become a more streamlined, efficient process.

When will the Check 21 Act become effective?

This law will be in effect on October 28, 2004. From this date on, you may start to receive substitute checks.

What is a substitute check?

A substitute check is an electronic image of your original paper checks; you will be able to see the front and backs of your checks. Substitute checks are legal copies of your original checks. You can use the substitute check the same way you would use the original check, it is a legal copy.

How will Check 21 affect me?

Check 21 allows for checks to be cleared faster. This means that the time between when you write a check and when the check is cashed will be reduced. The "float" time will be dramatically decreased, so it is important to make sure you have sufficient funds in your checking account to cover your checks.

Whom do I contact if I have more questions on Check 21?

If you have questions about the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act please contact our member contact center at 1-888-786-2791.

For more information you may also visit the links below:

  • WARNING: You are leaving our website! ~ Federal Reserve Board Federal Reserve Board

  • WARNING: You are leaving our website! ~ Consumer Connection Consumer Connection

The above links are provided for your convenience. Commodore Bank is not responsible for the content of third party sites accessed via hyperlinks from this web site, nor does it guarantee the products or services offered on third party sites.


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