A cashier’s check is a check drawn on a bank and paid with the bank’s funds.  A legitimate cashier’s check is guaranteed by the bank.

When might you need a cashier’s check?  A seller might require a cashier’s check when there is a large amount of money at stake – when buying a car or a house for instance.  To get a cashier’s check, you go to your bank and request the check from the teller.  You will need to know the exact amount of the check, the payee, and you will likely have to produce identification.  The bank will either place a hold on the funds in your account or they will actually withdraw the funds from your account – or you can bring cash to the bank for the amount of the cashier’s check.  Some banks will not provide cashier’s checks if you are not an account holder at that bank and many banks charge a fee for cashier’s checks even if you are an account holder.   Some online banks will provide cashier’s checks but they will have to be mailed to you so you’ll need to plan ahead.

Why would I require a cashier’s check?  If you are selling a car or another relatively expensive item to someone you don’t know you might require a cashier’s check.  When someone writes you a personal check you have no guarantee that they truly have the funds in their account to cover the check.  With a cashier’s check you have the bank’s guarantee that the funds will be paid.

Are cashier’s checks always safe?  Legitimate cashier’s checks are guaranteed by the bank.  However, there have been scams involving cashier’s checks.  If you have any doubts, you can call the issuing bank to verify a cashier’s check.