Financial industry

​Check cashing requirements

Oregon requires check cashing businesses to have a license if the following are true:

  • You charge a fee greater than $2, or 2 percent of the check’s face value.
  • Your check cashing transactions exceed 3 percent of your total business transactions.
  • You advertise check cashing services online, in print media and other media, such as television or radio, and on signs on the outside or facing outside of your business.

How to apply

  • Complete the Check-Cashing Business Initial License Application in Word or PDF and submit a $150 per location fee and a $150 investigation fee.
  • Provide proof of current business registration with the Oregon Secretary of State​.
  • Provide a copy of your check cashing fees. 
  • Provide a five-year work history and complete and sign a Criminal Background and Credit Check Authorization Form in Word or PDF for each owner, partner, or manager of the business.
​It is also helpful to provide a description of the activity that the business engages in.​

If you have an Oregon check cashing, pawnbroker, or consumer finance license and want to add a check cashing location, you must submit a Check-Cashing Business Additional License Application form (English) in Word or PDF or (Spanish) in Word or PDF​ and submit a $150 license fee and a $75 investigation fee. 

Although not a requirement for an Oregon license, you may need to register as a money service business at the U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Network (www.fincen.gov)

Exemptions fro​m licensing

If you have an Oregon-licensed money transmitting business and want to add check cashing services, you do not need a check cashing license. However, you must comply with the fee limits and posting, recordkeeping, and other legal requirements. This exemption does not apply to any authorized agent of licensed money transmitters; these businesses may need be licensed to cash checks if they are providing check-cashing services. For clarification, contact the division at 866-814-9710 (toll-free in Oregon).

The following are also exempt:

  • Banks
  • Credit unions (must comply with the fee limits)
  • A business that primarily sells retail goods or services and does not provide check cashing as its primary business, or when check cashing transactions are less than 3 percent of their total retail transactions

Exempt retailers that cash checks incidental to, or independent of, a retail sale or service cannot charge more than $2 or two percent of the check’s face value.

Maximum fe​es

As a licensed check casher, you are limited to charging certain fees.

​Type of payment instrument​ ​​WITH a valid and current government-issued photo indentification ​WITHOUT a valid and current government-issued photo indentification
Issued by the federal government or one of its agencies, by the State of Oregon or one of its agencies, or by the government of the municipality in which a person is cashing the payment instrument
​The greater of $5 or 2% of the face value of the payment instrument ​The greater of $5 or 2.5% of the face value of the payment instrument
​Issued by any other state or political subdivision or a payroll check ​The greater of $5 or 3% of the face value of the payment instrument ​The greater of $5 or 3.5% of the face value of the payment instrument
​Any other type, including personal checks, money orders, etc. ​​The greater of $5 or 10% of the face value of the payment instrument
​​No licensee may charge more than $100 to cash. ​ ​

Help for non-English speakers

If you need help translating the application and directions, call 503-378-4140 and a receptionist will connect you to an examiner who can help you complete your application.

Customer information

Licensed businesses must provide customers with a receipt that shows:

  • The name of your business
  • Date of the transaction
  • The face amount of check, money order, etc.
  • The fee charged 

Recordkeeping ​for licensees

The division requires that you maintain records (manually or electronically) of each transaction, including the amount and the fee charged. The records must be at your principal place of business for three years from the transaction date.

In addition, you must submit, by April 1 of each year, an (English) annual report​ or PDF  or a (Spanish) annual report or PDF that includes information on all transactions from the previous calendar year. 

License rene​wal

Your license will expire Dec. 31 of the year following the year issued. Approximately four weeks before your renewal date, we will mail you a form with instructions on how to renew your license. The renewal fee is $150 and is valid for two years.​​​​