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Stale Cheque vs. Post Dated Cheque: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Published on December 9, 2023
A stale cheque is a check that's past its validity period (typically 6 months), while a post-dated cheque is written with a future date and can't be cashed until that date.

Key Differences

A stale cheque is one that has exceeded its validity period, usually six months after its issue date, and is therefore not honored by banks. On the other hand, a post-dated cheque is issued with a date in the future, indicating that it should not be processed until that date.
Banks typically reject stale cheques due to the risk of fraud or insufficient funds. In contrast, a post-dated cheque is held by the bank or the payee until the specified date arrives.
Stale cheques often result from the payee forgetting to deposit or cash the cheque within the validity period. Post-dated cheques, however, are intentionally dated in the future, often for reasons like ensuring funds are available or aligning with future financial obligations.
Presenting a stale cheque can lead to financial complications or misunderstandings, as the cheque is no longer valid. Presenting a post-dated cheque before its date may lead to it being returned or the drawer facing legal implications for issuing a cheque without sufficient funds.
The drawer of a stale cheque may need to issue a new cheque, while the payee needs to request this. In the case of a post-dated cheque, both parties are aware of the future date, and the payee must wait to deposit or cash it.

Comparison Chart


No longer valid after a certain period (typically 6 months)
Valid only from a future specified date

Bank Handling

Rejected by banks
Held until the specified future date

Reason for Issuance

Due to delay in depositing or cashing
Intentionally dated in the future for various reasons

Legal and Financial Impact

Can lead to financial complications or need for re-issuance
Early presentation may lead to legal issues or return

Drawer and Payee Management

Drawer may need to reissue, payee must request new cheque
Payee must wait to deposit or cash, drawer ensures fund availability

Stale Cheque and Post Dated Cheque Definitions

Stale Cheque

A cheque that is too old to be honored by the bank.
She had to request a new cheque after the original one went stale.

Post Dated Cheque

A cheque with a date in the future, not valid until that date.
He wrote a post-dated cheque for next month's rent.

Stale Cheque

A cheque that is no longer valid due to passing its validity period.
The bank refused the stale cheque as it was older than six months.

Post Dated Cheque

A cheque used as a promise for payment on a future date.
She received a post-dated cheque as assurance for the loan repayment.

Stale Cheque

A cheque that becomes outdated after a certain timeframe.
He found a stale cheque in his drawer that was issued last year.

Post Dated Cheque

A cheque that defers payment to a specified future time.
The contractor accepted a post-dated cheque for the completion of work.

Stale Cheque

A cheque that loses its legal force due to lapse of time.
The account holder was asked to reissue a cheque as the original had become stale.

Post Dated Cheque

A cheque issued to be cashed or deposited at a later date.
The post-dated cheque was set for the day his salary would be credited.

Stale Cheque

A cheque not cashed or deposited within the prescribed period.
The stale cheque was returned as it had exceeded the six-month validity.

Post Dated Cheque

A financial instrument dated later than the day of writing.
To manage his cash flow, he often issued post-dated cheques to suppliers.


Why do cheques become stale?

They become stale due to non-presentation within the specified validity period.

Can a stale cheque be revalidated?

Yes, the issuer can revalidate it by writing a new date and signing near the old date.

What is a stale cheque?

A cheque that hasn't been cashed within a specific time frame, typically 6 months from the date of issue.

Is a stale cheque illegal?

No, it’s not illegal but it cannot be processed until revalidated.

What is a post-dated cheque?

A cheque written with a future date, not valid until that date.

Can a post-dated cheque be cashed early?

Generally, no, it should be cashed on or after the date written.

How can I avoid a cheque becoming stale?

Cash or deposit it before the expiration of the validity period.

What happens to a stale cheque?

It is not honored by the bank and is returned to the payee.

Can a stale cheque be cashed?

No, it cannot be cashed unless revalidated by the issuer.

Can a bank automatically revalidate a stale cheque?

No, revalidation must be done by the issuer.

Do banks verify the date on a post-dated cheque?

Yes, but accidental early processing can occur.

What is the typical validity period of a cheque?

Usually 6 months from the date of issuance.

Is issuing a post-dated cheque legal?

Yes, it’s legal but commitments tied to the cheque are subject to its date.

What happens if a post-dated cheque is cashed early?

If funds are insufficient, it may bounce, causing fees or legal issues.

How long is a post-dated cheque valid?

Typically 6 months from the written date, unless otherwise specified.

Can I stop payment on a post-dated cheque?

Yes, by requesting a stop payment with the bank before it’s cashed.

Can a post-dated cheque be cancelled?

Yes, by notifying the bank before the cheque's date.

Is a post-dated cheque a guarantee of payment?

No, it’s subject to account funds being available on the specified date.

Are there charges for revalidating a stale cheque?

It depends on the bank’s policy.

Why use a post-dated cheque?

To defer payment to a future date, often for financial planning.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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