For example, a check may state, "Valid for 90 days from this date" or "Not valid after 180 days." If you deposit a check that has this notice on it, the check writer's bank will likely refuse to process it because many corporations have rules set up on their bank accounts due to the sheer number of items that flow through.
If the account holder's bank denies payment, it is your responsibility to pay any fees associated with the returned check.
Now, if you show up to deposit a check that's five years old, it's likely the bank won't accept it. But it depends on the mood of the teller and whether he or she even catches it.
Each bank could have its own policy on dates; you should ask your bank if you're interested.
Incidentally, it is legal for your bank to destroy the actual checks you write, which they may do right away or after a period of time.
Although banks are not obligated to pay a check, they are permitted to do so.
You could show up at your bank to deposit a check dated yesterday.
But if the amount had been scratched out and corrected, or if was made out to Jacob Smith and your name is Kyle Smith (and your middle name isn't Jacob), the bank may not accept it.
However, check processing practices have been changing in recent years and, since October 2004, your payment check will now clear the bank even faster—due to a federal law known as “Check 21,” the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act.
This new law increases efficiency by making it easier for banks to transfer an image of your check electronically instead of physically transferring the paper check (this is known as check require) your bank to create a “substitute check” on paper from the image, for situations where a paper check is needed as proof of payment or the receiving bank does not accept electronic checks.