I have a decent sized check written out to me - almost $150 - but it's expired. Should I try and change the "2004" to "2006" with my non-existent counterfitting skills, possibly committing a crime and ending up in jail where I'd be subject to the whims of a man who had not seen a woman in 10 years? On second though, I think I'll take it as a loss and consider it a lesson learned.
Still, this bug kept itching me. $150! That's a pretty expensive lesson to learn, at least when you're as young and poor as I am. I scoured FatWallet Forums to see if anyone else had encountered a similar situation, and lo and behold, they had! The expiration date on checks is more of a recommendation on part of the issuer so that some people forget about it and don't cash it because it's past the date. However, most banks will still accept checks even if it's past the date. Since I had two checks, I deposited one at Bank of America and the other one at Wachovia to see if either one or both would accept them. It's been over 2 weeks now, and both seem to have gone through without a hitch.
In summary, just remember expiration dates are optional, much like with food - although to a greater extent. Just because it says something is void after so many days, go ahead and deposit it.