What are duplicate checks?

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  • Duplicate checks are a type of check with a plain piece of paper underneath it that serves as a carbon copy of each check you write.
  • Duplicate checks make it easy to track the checks you write, allowing you to know how much money remains in your checking account.

While most people are familiar with standard checkbooks, duplicate checkbooks offer several advantages. They have a small piece of paper behind each check. The little pieces of paper make it easier to keep track of the checks you’ve written. With a duplicate checkbook, you can easily keep track of checks you’ve written and even remove the check without damaging the checkbook.

What are duplicate checks?

When you write on a duplicate check, there’s a small piece of paper in your checkbook that records the checks you’ve written. This is a duplicate copy or duplicate check. You can also refer to it as a carbon copy or carbon check. They can be carbon copies or carbonless copies, depending on which company produces them. They look like regular checks, but with a sheet of thin paper behind every check.

These duplicate thin pieces of paper have spacing for all check information, including amount, payee, and date. Whenever you write a check, the information is automatically transmitted onto the duplicate paper.

How do duplicate checks work?

When you write a check and tear it out at the perforation, your duplicate copy remains in your checkbook, providing you with a record of the check that you have just drawn. The record copy has the same check number printed on it for reference. You can later use these records to compare your bank statement or provide proof of defense in the case of a dispute.

Where to purchase duplicate Checks

There should be a check catalog at your bank’s nearest branch or website. You can use this catalog to view and buy checks for your account. Additionally, you can buy duplicate and single checks from online check printers like Checks Unlimited, Costco Checks, or Walmart Checks.

Advantages of duplicate checks

Many people prefer checks for plenty of reasons and duplicate checks offer plenty benefits which include:


Checks are generally considered safer than carrying around cash. Sending checks in the mail to pay bills is more secure than using cash. Suppose your checkbook is stolen or misplaced; you can easily tell your bank to cancel the checks so that they will not be honored if the person who stole it tries to use them. If you lost your cash, you can’t recover it. Also, your banking information remains secure on a duplicate check that you keep because it does not contain your bank account number.

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Easy to use

The copy is created and transferred automatically by the pressure you applied on the pen to write the check. As a result, you can easily see the amounts and recipients of the check.


Sending checks in the mail to pay bills is much more convenient than going to the location to pay bills in person.

Record keeping control

When you write a lot of checks, it’s easy to forget which transactions you’ve paid for and which ones you haven’t. It’s frustrating to consistently double or triple-pay bills. Duplicate checks can also help you save money if you can stay closely on budget.

Offline access

Most of the duplicate checks information is available online, but the duplicate copies give you access to the same information offline. Thus, you always have with you an exact and immediate copy of every check you write.


A duplicate check can come in handy in the case of dispute, if you lost the original check and need another copy to present at the bank.

Disadvantages of duplicate checks

Despite the many benefits of duplicate checks, there are some drawbacks as well, such as:


Duplicate checks typically cost around 30 to 50 percent more than regular checks, mainly because most duplicate checks have fewer checks per box and a higher price per box of checks. The actual cost will depend on your bank or check provider.

Privacy risk

Duplicate checks normally have lot of banking and personal information like how much you spend in a given week and where you spend it. If criminals or hackers obtain them, that could spell trouble for you.

How much do duplicate checks cost?

A box of duplicate checks ordered through a bank can cost $30 or more. Duplicate checks are quite expensive compare to single checks, costing 30 to 50 percent more.

Where can I buy duplicate checks?

You can order duplicate checks from your bank or online from check printers such as Checks Unlimited, others are:

Bradford Exchange: $0.032 per check
Walmart: $0.056 per check
Sam’s Club: $0.042 per check

What do I do with old duplicate checks?

To dispose of old duplicate checks, you can use a shredder or other controlled destruction method. Generally, you are not liable if a bad actor steals your checks and uses them fraudulently; however, you don’t want to create the opportunity for anyone to do so.

How do duplicate checks work?

Duplicate checks alternate a carbonless check with a thin piece of paper. When you write on the original check, the exact duplicate is created on the thin piece of paper beneath the original check. This “duplicate” copy helps in record keeping and removes the need to have a checkbook register.

Are duplicate checks worth it?

Having duplicate checks can be worth it if you like to keep personal records of your payment history with the ability to see them anytime without accessing your online account or ordering cleared checks from your bank to get this information.

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