Cheques issued by the Government of Alberta - Security Features

The Government of Alberta issues hundreds of thousands of cheques each year. With such a large volume of payments in circulation, it is important that proper security measures are taken to ensure the integrity and safety of government payments.

Paper cheques issued by the Government of Alberta have the following security features:

  • The paper stock used in cheque production is specially designed for the Government of Alberta, and is stored and managed in a secure fashion.

  • This paper contains a unique chain-link watermark that identifies it as a genuine Government of Alberta payment. When a cheque is held up to the light, the water mark is visible. This watermark cannot be removed or corrupted, and will not reproduce if the cheque is photocopied or scanned. The cheque paper is embedded with invisible two-colour security fibres which can only be viewed with an ultraviolet light. Genuine payments can be verified with this simple test.

  • Cheque paper has full chemical sensitization, so that any attempt to dissolve the ink will result in noticeable staining on the paper. This feature makes it extremely difficult to alter the cheque payment information by fraudsters.

  • Printed cheques are subject to a toner retention treatment, which makes it extremely difficult to scrape off text without damaging the cheque. Damaged cheques should be scrutinized closely to determine if attempts have been made to fraudulently alter cheque information.

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A cheque may be a forgery if:

  • No Alberta watermark can be detected when the cheque is held up to a standard light source.

  • No two-colour security fibres are visible when the cheque is illuminated with an ultraviolet light.

  • Unusual staining appears on the cheque particularly in the areas of the cheque where the amount or payee information is printed.

  • The cheque surface appears damaged in the areas where the amount or payee information is printed.

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For Financial Institutions

Any time you are presented with a Government of Alberta cheque, please review the security features above to help determine if the item has been altered or improperly duplicated. If you have any doubts about whether the item is genuine, please review the Cheque Verification procedures.

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Page last updated:  August 4, 2015