Like all other banks, BMO offers account holders the option to purchase a chequebook, which can be used to create a BMO sample check (often called a specimen cheque).
Today, I’ll explain everything that you need to know about how to get a BMO sample cheque.
I’ll also explain how to read and write a BMO void cheque, in case you’re ever asked to. Let’s take a look!
How To Get A BMO Sample or Void Cheque
1. Print one out From BMO Online Banking
You can simply log into your BMO online banking portal. Here’s how you can get a PDF of your BMO sample cheque:
- Log into your online BMO account using your username and password
- Go to My Accounts, and click on the account where you want to receive your sample cheque.
- Select the option for Void Cheque.
- You’ll get a PDF document that has your BMO void cheque, and you can print and download it for whatever you need.
2. Ordering A BMO Chequebook
It’s fairly easy to order a chequebook from BMO. If you have a local BMO branch nearby, you can visit the bank during normal operating hours and ask your teller to order a chequebook for you.
They’ll typically present you with a few options that vary in cheque design.
Once your chequebook order has been placed, you can expect your cheques to arrive within one to two weeks.
Since cheques are custom printed, they take a little bit longer to mail than most traditional packages, so don’t expect any overnight shipping.
Other ways to obtain a chequebook from BMO include:
- Order through your BMO online banking portal
- Contact a BMO representative at 1-877-225-5266
For more information, you can read BMO’s guide on how to order cheques.
If you’re signing up for an automatic withdrawal or deposit program, then you may be asked to present a BMO sample cheque along with your application. The BMO sample cheque contains important details, such as:
- Your legal name
- Your mailing address
- Your bank account number
This verifies that you are, in fact, the account holder and verifies that all of your account information is correct.
This ensures that the money being deposited or withdrawn from your account is going to or coming from the correct place.
BMO sample cheques are often used for the following purposes:
- To set up direct deposit with your employer
- To set up automatic debits by a utility provider or credit card company
- To make paying your rent easier
- To set up automatic invoicing for a business
A BMO sample cheque is just a blank cheque that contains your full name and account details.
It isn’t used to transfer a specific amount of money or to pay an individual or business. It’s only used for informational purposes to verify your account details.
Sometimes, you may be asked for a BMO void cheque instead. So, what’s the difference?
There is none.
A BMO sample cheque is the same as a BMO void cheque. Sometimes, these blank cheques are also referred to as a BMO specimen cheque.
If you’re asked to provide a BMO sample cheque, then you may think to walk into your closest BMO branch and ask them to provide you with a specimen cheque. Unfortunately, you cannot get a same-day BMO sample cheque from your bank.
To obtain a BMO sample cheque, you must first order a chequebook from BMO. Then, you can use one of your cheques as a void cheque.
The reason why you can’t get a cheque directly from the bank is that all cheques are custom-made and encoded using special magnetic ink that contains your personal account information.
Writing a BMO sample cheque is incredibly easy. Once you have your chequebook, remove one cheque and write the word “VOID” across the front of it.
Whenever banks see this, they automatically know that it’s a sample cheque and that it’s not to be used for monetary withdrawals or transfers.
I also recommend writing the word “VOID” or a “$0.00” amount in the dollar amount box to prevent a would-be thief from rewriting the cheque and attempting to steal money from you.
Here’s a good example of how to write a BMO void cheque:
How To Read A BMO Sample Cheque
Most Canadians don’t use paper cheques very often. So, here’s a quick brush-up on how to read a BMO sample cheque, if you haven’t done so in a while.
In the upper left-hand corner of the cheque, you’ll find your personal details, including:
- Your legal name
- Your mailing address
On the far right-hand corner, you’ll find the date. This doesn’t need to be filled out on sample cheques, but is important if you plan on paying by cheque. The amount of the cheque cannot be transferred until this exact date.
The first line should include the full legal name of the individual or business that is being paid. You don’t have to fill this out for your BMO sample cheque, though.
This line should just be filled in with the word “VOID” on a BMO sample cheque. On a real cheque, this line would include the written amount of money to be transferred (i.e., “one-hundred and fifty-five dollars”).
To the right, you’ll find the dollar amount box, where the numerical value of the cheque should be written. On a BMO sample cheque, this box should be left blank, marked with $0.00, or covered with the word “VOID.”
The bottom left-hand corner should feature a line allowing the account holder to sign off on the cheque. You don’t need to fill this out when writing a BMO sample cheque, though.
The bottom right-hand corner provides a simple line to describe the reason for the payment. This should be left blank on a BMO void cheque.
The very bottom of your BMO cheque will feature a line of numbers encoded with your bank account details. Make sure that you do not cover any of these numbers with the word “VOID.”
That doesn’t sound so hard, right? Writing a BMO sample cheque is as easy as taking one of the BMO cheques out of your chequebook and writing the word “VOID” across the front of it.
Since sample cheques include personal information, make sure that you only give the cheque to the individual or organization that it’s intended for.
If you have a BMO account, you can also start investing in ETF portfolios. Keep reading to see my review of BMOs all-in-one ETF portfolios.