Generally, a check casher is a business entity that engages in the cashing of checks or other payment instruments for a fee. The Department licenses check cashers operating in Georgia that cash checks, money orders or other payment instruments for a fee.
'Fee' means a service charge, benefit, or other consideration, which includes, but is not limited to, cash, the exchange of value in excess of regular retail value, mandatory purchase of goods or services by patrons, or the purchase of catalogue items or coupons or other items indicating the ability to receive goods, services, or catalogue items.
The following are exempt from licensing requirements:
- Any state or federally chartered bank, trust company, credit union, savings and loan association, or savings bank with deposits that are federally insured;
- The United States Postal Service;
- A state or federal governmental department, agency, authority, or instrumentality and its agents;
- Any foreign bank that establishes a federal branch pursuant to the International Bank Act, 12 U.S.C. Section 3102;
- Any person who accepts a payment instrument from a person in exchange for monetary value but does not charge a fee; or
- An individual employed by a licensee or any person exempted from the licensing requirements when acting within the scope of employment and under the supervision of the licensee or exempted person as an employee and not as an independent contractor.
The Department uses the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) to manage its Money Service Business licensees (MSB).
- Use the NMLS Consumer Access portal to verify a check casher license.
To report an unlicensed check casher to the Department, you may contact the MSB section of the Non-Depository Financial Institutions Division by one of the following methods. Be sure to include the name of the business, address (if known), and any other details you have:
Phone: (770) 986-1652
Fax: (770) 986-1655
Mail: Department of Banking and Finance
2990 Brandywine Road, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30341-5565
Georgia law, specifically Section 7-1-707(f) of the Official Code of Georgia, limits the fee charged by licensees for cashing any check to the greater of $5.00 or:
Three percent (3%) of the face amount of the check/payment instruments if such payment instrument is for state public assistance or a federal social security benefit made payable to the bearer of such payment instrument;
Ten percent (10%) of the face amount of personal checks or money orders drawn against the account of an individual;
Five percent (5%) of the face amount of all other checks/payment instruments.