To: All Member Banks and Others Concerned in the Third Federal Reserve District

Attention: Chief Executive Officer and Chief Compliance Officer



The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has approved a proposed rule to amend Regulation CC and its commentary to implement the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21 Act). The Check 21 Act was enacted on October 28, 2003, and becomes effective on October 28, 2004.

To facilitate check truncation and electronic check exchange, the Check 21 Act authorizes a new negotiable instrument called a “substitute check” and provides that a properly prepared substitute check is the legal equivalent of the original check for all purposes. A substitute check is a paper reproduction of the original check that can be processed just like the original check. The Check 21 Act does not require any bank to create substitute checks or to accept checks electronically.

The Board’s proposed amendments: (1) set forth the requirements of the Check 21 Act that apply to banks; (2) provide a model disclosure and model notices relating to substitute checks; and (3) set forth bank indorsement and identification requirements for substitute checks. The proposed amendments also clarify some existing provisions of the rule and commentary.

The Board's Federal Register notice is available here (685 KB, 89 pages).

Date: Comment on the proposed rule is requested by March 12, 2004.

For Further Information: Jack K. Walton, II, Assistant Director (202/452-2660), or Joseph P. Baressi, Senior Financial Services Analyst (202/452-3959), Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems; or Stephanie Martin, Associate General Counsel (202/452-3198), or Adrianne G. Threatt, Counsel (202/452-3554), Legal Division; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (“TDD”) only, contact (202) 263-4869.