Cheques issued by the Government of Alberta - Stale-dated Cheques

Cheques issued by the Alberta government are considered stale-dated six months after the issue date.

If you are in possession of a stale-dated government cheque and want to receive payment, you must contact the issuing ministry and ask that a new cheque be issued.

If you are a Financial Institution, in the event that stale-dated items are presented for payment, you should advise your clients to contact the issuing ministry to obtain a replacement cheque.

Why six months?

Six months is the industry standard and is reflected in the rules set out by the Canadian Payments Association.

By conforming to the widely recognized six-month standard, government is eliminating confusion for citizens and financial institutions and reducing the opportunity for fraud.

Six months is a reasonable amount of time for someone to cash a cheque, but the Government of Alberta recognizes there are always exceptions. Those people in possession of a stale-dated cheque can still receive payment by asking the issuing ministry to issue a new one.

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How do I contact the issuing ministry?

If you wish to contact the issuing ministry, a list of financial administration phone numbers is available at http://alberta.ca/AdministrativeListings.cfm?PageID=Finance.

If you are not certain which Ministry issued the cheque, call our Payments Help Desk. Be sure to have the cheque handy when you call.

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What happens if a financial institution cashes a stale-dated cheque?

Cashing a stale-dated cheque could result in a charge-back for the financial institution.

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Who should financial institutions contact?

If you are financial institution wishing to verify a cheque, or have questions related to stale-dated cheques, please contact our Payments Help Desk:
                780-427-7481 (in Edmonton)
                310-0000, followed by 780-427-7481 (toll free within Alberta)

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Page last updated:  August 4, 2015