Online copies of checks are not legal duplicates


POSTED: Friday, May 15, 2009

Question: Your column is the most useful of all, but the one about electronic processing of checks (”;Kokua Line,”; May 12) needs a follow-up, as many of us are at a loss with the new system. The tiny copies showing only the front of the checks are no good as proof of payments or for tax purposes. To obtain a front and back image, one must subscribe to electronic banking and periodically download the checks needed because, after a time, they are not available. Can you clarify?

Answer: It's true that the images of checks processed and shown on checking account statements are not really “;image replacement documents”; or substitute checks.

They're just meant to show what checks have cleared, said Gary Fujitani, executive director of the Hawaii Bankers Association.

“;A substitute check is definitely a different document,”; he said, one that “;really serves as a legal replacement for the original check.”;

Those substitute checks are kept by the banks for seven years, Fujitani said.

And, while you can get the front and back images of a check via online banking, that is not a legal, substitute check, either.

“;A substitute check has to take a certain form to be considered a legal replacement,”; Fujitani said.

Under most circumstances, most vendors will accept a copy of the front and back of a check as proof of payment, he said, but if not, you would need to contact your bank for the actual substitute check.

Q: I went to the Kapahulu KFC with a coupon for free grilled chicken, but they told me they were not giving any rain checks and they were not accepting any coupons. They even had a sign saying that. What's going on? I thought all Hawaii restaurants were honoring the coupons (”;Kokua Line,”; May 13).

A: The 21 KFC restaurants in Hawaii that offer Kentucky Grilled Chicken are required to provide one free piece in exchange for the national coupon, a spokesman said.

The restaurants will be reminded of this so they all “;are consistent with this offer,”; he said.

However, because of kitchen restraints, six restaurants cannot offer the new grilled chicken, he said. They are King's Village (Waikiki), Waianae and Dillingham on Oahu; Kona and Waimea on the Big Island; and Lahaina on Maui.

He also clarified that no separate rain checks are being provided, as is being done nationally. Instead, customers just have to bring in their original coupons from Oprah Winfrey's Web site to get the free piece of chicken. The deadline is Tuesday.


To people using their family member's disabled parking placard to park near entrances. Is there a place I can report possible abuse so the family can get a warning? If there isn't, there should be some way for the public to be able to report the placard number, license number and description of the person(s). Too often, I see only a young able-bodied driver get free parking in metered spaces downtown or dashing into a store.—Fed Up

The Honolulu Police Department, which enforces the placard law, does not send warning letters to alleged violators, and it can't issue a citation unless an officer witnesses the violation, said spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

She pointed out that not all disabilities that qualify for a parking placard are visible or noticeable.

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).