Verify Your Checks Before You Deposit using DDAMP

Posted by Mrs Money on March 29th, 2010

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Hello Turkey Toe

Have you ever deposited a check and it’s been returned, or the amount has been altered in your checking account? You can avoid this hassle by ensuring the checks you are depositing have been correctly filled out with a process known as “DDAMP-ing” the checks.  It’s a process that tellers use before they accept a check for deposit to an account.

Here’s what it stands for:

D: Date- Ensure that the date on the check is no older than six months old.  After that, many banks consider the checks stale dated and will not accept them for deposit.  Some business checks have certain restrictions on the front such as “Must be cashed within 90 days”.  Make sure you negotiate these checks fairly quickly.

D: Drawee Bank- Make sure that it looks like a legitimate bank.  If you are ever unsure of the bank, check with a quick Google search to make sure the bank is real.  You can also call to verify funds if you are worried about the check bouncing.

A: Amount- Make sure that the amount in the small box on the right matches the written amount under the payee line.  The legal amount of the check is the amount that is written out in words.

M: Maker- Make sure that the maker has signed the check.  You wouldn’t believe how many checks we receive that are not signed by the maker!  Of course these should notbe accepted for deposit by a teller.

P:Payee- Make sure that the check is payable to the correct person.  For instance, if the check is supposed to be payable to you as a person for some plumbing work you did for a friend, make sure they didn’t make it out to “Bobby John Plumbing” because it cannot be deposited into a personal checking account.

Do you check your checks before depositing?  What are some errors you have caught lately?

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9 Responses to “Verify Your Checks Before You Deposit using DDAMP”


  1. Little House says:

    I have to say that I don’t check my checks, I just deposit them. Thanks for sharing this info, I will be more careful from now on. :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Little House- I guess I didn’t really look at checks before I worked at the bank either ;) It makes you a little neurotic when that’s all you do all day! lol

    [Reply]

  2. OH, these are some good tips! I just had Mr. A deposit a whole pile of checks today, and didn’t check even one for any of these things. I will print this out and use it in the future. OH, but I did make copies of every check (PDF) so I can go back and just check to make sure none of them will get rejected. Thanks, Mrs. Money!

    [Reply]

  3. Oh, I forgot to add (since you asked) we recently did have one customer that wrote the number amount and the written amount didn’t match. I did start checking that, but now I know the other things to check, thanks.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Mrs. A- That’s so smart you make a copy of all the checks! That would help if the bank ever lost the checks (which I’ve seen happen…) ;)

    [Reply]

  4. An excellent list of things to check on checks. About the only time I ever get checks is as gifts for birthdays or holidays, but it’s still good to know what to check for. Having a nice acronym to help remember this is good as well.

    [Reply]


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