Check Cashing

In West Virginia, no one may assess a fee for providing a check cashing service unless such powers are specifically provided by state law. Check cashing activities that generate fees are permissible for the following entities:
  • Merchants primarily in the business of retail sales;
  • Companies licensed under Chapter 32A, Article 2 of the West Virginia State Code; and
  • Entities specifically exempted by statute under §32A-3-1(f).
Activities Permitted to Merchants and Not Subject to Licensure

Merchants primarily in the business of making retail consumer sales may offer check cashing services at stores to accommodate customers in the ordinary course of business, and may collect a fee for the service as long as the check cashing service and any fees charged are incidental (less than or equal to 5% of gross revenue) to the primary business of the merchant.

Fees charged in connection with check cashing services may not exceed the greater of $1, or 1% of the face value of the check cashed.

Merchants may not, in connection with providing check cashing services, agree to hold checks submitted to them for deposit at a later date for the purpose of providing a loan of money and deriving profit therefrom.

Activities Requiring Licensure

Merchants deriving more than 5% of gross revenues from cashing checks must obtain the proper license.

Persons holding a currency exchange, currency transmission or currency transportation may in conjunction with their licensed business engage in the business of check cashing in West Virginia.

Fees charged in connection with check cashing services may not exceed the greater of $1, or 1% of the face value of the check cashed. 







Fees
  • Initial - $1,000 plus $20 for each additional location operated or identified as an authorized delegate location within the State of West Virginia. The maximum fee assessed is $10,000.
  • Renewal - $250 plus $20 for each additional location operated or identified as an authorized delegate location within the State of West Virginia. The maximum fee assessed is $10,000.

Net Worth Requirement

$50,000 plus an additional $25,000 for each additional authorized delegate location within the State of West Virginia. The maximum net worth required is $1 million.


Bond or Deposit Requirement
The Bond or alternative Deposit of Securities required is $300,000 for Currency Transmission by Wire or other electronic means plus an additional $25,000 for each authorized delegate office in the state up to a maximum of $1 million dollars.

The Bond or alternative Deposit of Securities required for entities engaged in the Sale of Money Orders and Travelers Checks is $100,000 plus an additional $25,000 for each authorized delegate location within the State of West Virginia. The maximum bond or deposit required is $1 million.


Designation of Principals
Applicants must identify those persons who are principals. Principals are defined as a licensee's owner, president, senior officer responsible for the licensee's business, chief financial officer or any other person who performs similar functions or who otherwise controls the conduct of the affairs of a licensee. A person controlling 10% or more of the voting stock of any corporate applicant is a principal. Each principal of the Applicant is subject to a background investigation and must furnish fingerprints unless exempted under state law pursuant to Chapter 31A, Article 2, Section 4(b)(4) of the WV Code.


Questions may be addressed to Shelia Johnson or Ruth Holt via email or in writing to:

West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions 
900 Pennsylvania Ave
Suite 306 
Charleston, West Virginia 25302