United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 26, 2024
Paying checks and drafts
Except as provided in sections 3329 and 3330 of this title—
the Secretary shall not be required to pay a Treasury check issued on or after the effective date of this section unless it is negotiated to a financial institution within 12 months after the date on which the check was issued; and
the Secretary shall not be required to pay a Treasury check issued before the effective date of this section unless it is negotiated to a financial institution within 12 months after such effective date.
Notwithstanding the time limitations imposed by paragraph (1), if the Secretary is on notice of a question of law or fact about whether a Treasury check is properly payable when the check is presented for payment, the Secretary may defer payment on such check until the question is settled.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect the underlying obligation of the United States, or any agency thereof, for which a Treasury check was issued.
If a check issued by a disbursing official and drawn on a designated depositary is not paid by the last day of the fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the check was issued, the amount of the check is—
withdrawn from the account with the depositary; and
deposited in the Treasury for credit to a consolidated account of the Treasury.
A claim for the proceeds of an unpaid check under this subsection may be paid from a consolidated account by a check drawn on the Treasury.
A limitation imposed on a claim against the United States Government under section 3702 of this title does not apply to an unpaid check drawn on the Treasury or a designated depositary.
The Secretary may prescribe regulations the Secretary decides are necessary to carry out subsections (a)–(c) of this section.
The Secretary shall prescribe regulations on—
enforcing the speedy presentation of Government drafts;
paying drafts, including the place of payment; and
paying drafts if presentment is not made as required.
Regulations prescribed under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall prevent, as far as may be practicable, Government drafts from being used or placed in circulation as paper currency or a medium of exchange.
Nothing in this section limits the authority of the Secretary to decline payment of a Treasury check after first examination thereof at the Treasury.
cite as: 31 USC 3328