Stale-Dated Warrants (Uncashed Checks)

Warrants (checks) issued by a state agency have a negotiable period of one year from the date of issuance. If you have an old, uncashed State check (i.e. warrant), please refer to the table below for the handling of these stale-dated warrants.

Age of Check How to Proceed
Less than one year
Cash the check; it is still valid.
More than one year but less than three years from date of issue Contact the agency or department that originally issued the check and ask them to issue you a new check.
More than three years from date of issue You must file a Government Claim with the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.

You must file a Government Claim for checks older than three years because the fund from which the check was originally drawn has expired. The GCP can approve the issuance of a new check for a valid, still outstanding stale-dated warrant. Most new replacement checks must be issued through the legislative process.

If your claim for a stale-dated warrant is approved by the GCP, then your check request, along with many other claims the GCP approved, are combined into a claims bill. Once the Legislature passes the GCP’s claims bill, and the Governor signs it, then the State Controller can issue the replacement checks.

California State law requires GCP to follow this claims bill process in order to issue a replacement check for stale-dated warrants. This process may take up to 18 months.

Please note that the $25.00 application fee is not refunded for allowed claims involving stale dated warrants.