Which technique should be used to fill in a cheque? Must a signature be made in the signer's own hand?

A cheque must be filled in using one of the methods below:
  1. Computer printed

  2. Typewritten, for example by using a typewriter. However, a word of caution though, as it appears that it is possible for such an ordinary type-written cheque to be altered, customers, in fact, should be encouraged to use pinpoint typewriter or cheque writers because of their special qualities. Do not use correctable ribbons.

  3. Handwritten. Customers are advised to write cheques in dark ink. Black secure ink dispensed from a gel-based pen is recommended to prevent check washing. Never use pencil to write out cheques. Cheques written in pencil can be easily erased and altered.

The drawer's signature is essential to make the instrument a cheque. It must be:
  1. Signed with own hand. Lord Denning in Goodman v. Eban [1954] QBD 550 at 56: "In modern English usage when a document is required to be signed by someone that means that he must write his name with his own hand upon it". The virtue of a signature lies in the fact that no two persons write exactly alike and so it carries on the face of it a guarantee that the person who signs has given his personal attention to the document.

  2. Signed under mandate. However, the drawer need not sign by his own hand. The signature may be written by some other person or under this authority.

    Section 96 (1) of Bills of Exchange Act 1949 (Act 204)

    Where, by this Act, any instrument or writing is required to be signed by any person, it is not necessary that he should sign it with his own hand, but it is sufficient if his signature is written thereon by some other person by or under his authority.

  3. Facsimile Signature. Large companies sometimes issue cheques which bear a printed facsimile reproduction of the signature of some official who is too busy to sign personally and who usually never sees the cheque, for example dividend cheque.

    Section 96 (2) of Bills of Exchange Act 1949 (Act 204)

    In the case of a corporation, where by this Act, any instrument or writing is required to be signed, it is sufficient if the instrument or writing be sealed with the corporate seal. But nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the bill or note of a corporation to be under seal.

    In practice, before bankers accept such a form of signature, they would ask customer to give an indemnity.

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Knowledge Base ID :   1482
Last Reviewed :   April 30, 2014
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