Starter checks are generic checks that are sometimes issued to clients who open a new checking account. The rationale behind issuing starter checks is so that the client can immediately write out checks without having to wait for checks to be printed out. Normally, checks come with the necessary information printed out. This information includes the name of the account holder, the account number, and other details specific to the account holder. If the client needs checks immediately, though, and cannot afford to wait for several days, starter checks come in handy.
When a bank gives a client starter checks, the number is limited. This is reasonable as starter checks are only meant for immediate use. Once the starter checks have all been used, the client can order a new set of checks with his personal information printed on them.
While starter checks are strictly no different than “normal” checks, some establishments and merchants may have policies against the use of starter checks. This is because they are aware that starter checks are used by new account holders, and they want to avoid the possibility that the account does not have enough funding yet. In particular, merchants may decline starter checks if the customer is new and does not have an established relationship with them yet.
In spite of this potential risk, starter checks are still widely used. Having a set of checks at your disposal - even if they are merely starter checks - is more convenient than having to wait for printed checks.