What Color Pen Should You Use When Writing Checks?

  • Post category:Money Misc.

A check is a legal document that gives the recipient access to your funds. Something that important has to be filled out just like every other legally binding paperwork. This may leave you wondering if there is a certain color pen to fill out your checks? We have researched this to get you the very best answer.

You should use black pen ink to fill out your check. Blue is also an acceptable color. Any other color is unacceptable and will most likely void the check. Additionally, markers (regardless of its color) is not allowed to be used for any reason.

a collage of a woman's hand writing a check to pay bills and a color black pen, What Color Pen Should You Use When Writing Checks?

Continue reading to understand what you should use to fill out a check appropriately. We will also be providing suggestions of great pens you can keep for your check writing.

Does it Matter What Color Ink You Write a Check In?

For numerous years, there hasn't been any law regarding what colors you could use to fill out checks. But black or blue ink has been the standard for banks and other financial institutions. Even when you go to one and fill out something, all the pens you have access to are always black or blue.

Lately, banks do accept checks endorsed in other colors, but it may make the process longer. According to Tahlequah Daily Press, black is best; it's the best ink color to contrast on white paper when the bank photocopies it. Other colors may not be read by the photocopier, causing delays or leading the scan to reject the check.

Can a Check be Written in Red Ink?

Red ink is often not something you've ever wanted to see. When receiving grades back in school days, red ink would show all the errors. On documents today, it's used to mark mistakes.

Using red ink on a check will cause you many problems in the long run. It's an ink color that's used often, but its contrast when scanning is a problem. Because red ink won't show up so well on scanned documents, writing a check in red ink may lead to problems with your deposit.

It happened to one couple; according to Pen Vibe, the two filled out a check with red because that's the only color they could find. A few days later, their bank considered their check fraudulent and closed their account. They got the issue resolved a week later.

Filling out the check with a red pen will make the scanner think it's blank, which was the case with this couple.

Do Banks Accept Checks Written in Pencil?

Checks, or any legal tender document, should NEVER be filled out in pencil. A check written out in pencil leaves you with the risk of being taken advantage of.

Pencil can be erased and replaced with something other than what you wrote. You'd leave yourself open to having more money than intended withdrawn from your account, or it being made out to a different person.

That's why institutions only accept blue and black inked pen. It maintains the legitimacy of the writing when you use ink. With a pencil, the check may appear as if it was tampered with, leading to long validations that may or may not successfully prove it was your doing.

What Color Ink Should be Used to Sign Legal Documents?

Even though blue and black ink is the norm for any legal documentation, not just checks, you may want to stick with blue as a whole.

According to Investopedia, black ink may not even be preferable to some paperwork. Let's say you're filling out a credit card application in black ink. The primary color that printers print is black. That means it can be hard to differentiate a copy from the original document.

Blue alleviates this dilemma. Blue ink makes it easier to tell which document is the original because it's easier to notice in the printer. This helps to avoid any fraudulent activity.

Our Picks for Excellent Pens for Check Writing

Below are some of our suggestions for pens you can get to write your checks in. They're all appropriate ink colors and offer some comfort or style.

Metropolitan Collection Black Gel Roller Pen

Gel pens are the preferred pen of choice to use. They're harder to smear off than the typical ballpoint ink pens.

This gel pen by Metropolitan Collection combines style and long-lasting quality into one easy-to-handle pen. It's a fine point (0.7mm) pen that will smoothly glide across the paper. It makes for a great gift; each pen comes packaged in a deluxe black gift box.

You can view this product on Amazon by clicking here.

BIC Round Stic Ballpoint Pen

Bic is one of the most reliable, affordable brands on the market for writing utensils. You can get a bulk supply for super cheap.

Each pen is translucent, showing you how much ink remains inside. The 1mm ballpoint makes it versatile for any kind of writing: legal documents, writing a letter, or just for notes. With sixty in a pack, you can keep a few in several locations.

You can view this product on Amazon by clicking here.

Dr. Grip Ballpoint Pen

The Dr. Grip pen line was designed with comfort in mind. It's almost weightless and has a relaxing comfort grip to relieve stress from writing. This is a great option for writers who have arthritis. It comes in either black, blue, or red ink, all of which are refillable.

You can view this product on Amazon by clicking here.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

If you're looking for a stylish, retro pen, this Fountain Pen is the way to go. It's 5.8 inches tall, comes with a flexible chrome clip, and a steel fine point. You can insert different cartridges for ink (sold separately).

You can view this product on Amazon by clicking here.


We hope that we've provided you the importance of using black or blue ink pens to fill out your checks and other documents. Remember our advice the next time you sign a lease or put a signature on your credit/debit card.