Anatomy of Bank Checks
Never written a bank check before? Or are you wondering what all the computerized numbers on your bank checks mean? Wonder no more! You will be better able to order your checks online once you understand the anatomy of a bank check!
The elements found on bank checks are as follows:
Account Holder Information
There are 5 lines available for your personal check information. Check personalization typically may include the account holder’s name, address, and optional information such as phone number or driver’s license number.
Your bank’s name must appear on your checks, but your bank’s address is optional. Refer to your existing checks to determine what information should be included here.
Personalized Cut / Monogram Area
If your check design allows it, you may select an optional cut or monogram to appear to the left of your Account Holder’s Information.
Over Signature Text Area
Some check designs allow for a personalized message above the signature line on your personal checks.
Bank Routing Number or ABA Routing Code
The first number in the MICR line at the bottom of your check is your bank’s routing number. It is 9 digits long and always starts with 0, 1, 2 or 3.
Bank Account Number
Your bank account number may appear before or after your check number in your check’s MICR line.
The sequential number for your checks appears in both the MICR line at the bottom of your checks and the upper right corner of your checks. This number allows you to keep track of the checks you write.
The account owner endorses the signature line on the bottom of a personal check to authorize its use.
“Pay To The Order Of” Line
The “Pay To” line is where you specify the person/business to whom the check is written.
The “Dollars” box is where you write the numeric amount of the check.
Written Amount Line
The amount of the check is also written out in full in words on the amount line, which is located below the “Pay To” line on the check.
The fraction on your check is used to identify your bank.
Account Since Date (only required in some states)