When designing the model for an accounting system, one of my colleagues pointed out the name of the column describing the time when a cheque is drawn (written) by the owner. Since I couldn't find a proper name for it I'm asking it here.

  • What do you call a date when a cheque is written?

So far I'm thinking about:

  • Issue date
  • draw date
  • write date
  • I would say 'date of signature', but that isn't a single word, I'm afraid. 'Draw' is ambiguous, unfortunately (because it could refer to the date that money is drawn on the cheque), and so is 'issue', because it could refer to the date that the cheque is given, rather than written and signed. You could try 'signature' date.
    – Lee Leon
    Oct 9, 2017 at 14:50
  • 1
    It's important to recognise that one need not put the date of signature on the cheque: one can choose to put a different date (or leave the date blank) (or just get it totally wrong). Oct 9, 2017 at 15:33
  • Issue date is the earliest date on which the check may be presented for payment. Checks can be post-dated; if you bank electronically, you can request payment at a future date (which may be a check delivered and dated on that date or an electronic transfer). The date the funds are removed from the issuer's account is another date; the date at which they are available to the person who deposits/cashes the check is another, but prob. not important to the set of accounts you're designing.
    – Xanne
    Oct 9, 2017 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


In the U.S., under the Uniform Commercial Code, the exact term for the date shown on the instrument would be "the date of instrument," as defined in Article III, section 113. That date would not necessarily be the date of actual signature because, in the U.S., it is legally permissible to ante-date or post-date commercial paper.

I am not sure what, if any, legal significance it would have, but the phrases "date of actual signing" or "date of actual signature" clearly convey the meaning that you want.

In any case, what can be validated against the instrument itself is not the date of actual signing.


A check (American English) or cheque (British English) is a bill of exchange made out to a payee and not, like paper money, a promissory note authorising any bearer.

It is a negotiable instrument and gives instruction to a financial institution to make a monetary transfer into the transactional account of either a person or an entity.

The date is the date of issue and the instrument is valid, usually, for a period of six months from the date of issue.


Under the heading 'Parts of a Cheque' the article documents the history of the instrument :

An issue date was added, and cheques may not be valid a certain amount of time after issue. In the US[17] and Canada[18] a cheque is typically valid for six months after the date of issue, after which it is a stale-dated cheque, but this depends on where the cheque is drawn; in Australia this is typically fifteen months.[19] A cheque that has an issue date in the future, a post-dated cheque, may not be able to be presented until that date has passed, writing a post dated cheque may simply be ignored or is illegal in some countries.

  • Could you please indicate about how far down the Wikipedia article 'The date is the date of issue and the instrument is valid, usually, for a period of six months from the date of issue.' appears? 'The date' needs better defining. Oct 9, 2017 at 16:34

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