How to Dispose of Unused Checks

by Michelle Hickman; Updated September 26, 2017
Man prepares to write check

It's best to dispose of unused checks, since most have your personal information printed on them. If they're stolen, it leaves you vulnerable to unauthorized transactions or identity theft. Those disposing of business checks may have to follow company procedure and have someone from the internal audit department witness their destruction. Otherwise, you can employ simple methods at home to destroy unused personal checks.

Step 1

Run unused checks through a paper shredder. Place the checks horizontally into the feeder so that the your checking account number will be unreadable.

Step 2

Use a pair of scissors -- either ordinary ones or those specially designed for shredding paper -- to slice the checks into harmless scraps of confetti. Make enough cuts to areas where personal information is printed to render this information unreadable.

Step 3

Burning the checks in a fireplace, if you have one. Make sure that all of the paper is destroyed properly in the fire and never leave the fireplace unattended.

Step 4

Take the unused checks and checkbooks to the bank that issued the account. Some financial institutions may dispose of the unused checks for you. Call the financial institution to make arrangements.

About the Author

Based in southwestern Pennsylvania, Michelle Hickman has written since 2006 on an array of topics including lifestyle, writing instruction and financial services. Her first articles appeared in "The Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Focus Magazine." She holds a certification in computer and information science from Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.

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