Those number at the bottom of your personal check are for
more than just banks and businesses to use. You may have to
know what those numbers mean when you order new checks or
set up a direct deposit.
If you have no idea what your checking account number and
bank's routing number are, this article will explain how to
identify them using a personal check.
You'll find the routing number as well as your checking
account number on your checks' MICR line. Banks have been
using MICR lines on checks since back in the 1950s.
MICR is an acronym meaning Magnetic Ink Character
Recognition. As you might guess, those digits along the
bottom edge of your business checks or personal checks are
printed with special magnetic ink. This makes the data
readable by processing equipment used at your financial
The Federal Reserve assigns routing numbers to individual
banks indicating where the funds in a financial transaction
is going to and coming from. There are nearly 27,000
routing numbers currently in use.
Find the routing number on you checks by looking for the
first 9 number on the MICR line. You can easily spot these
nine digits because they are almost always between two
special symbols found on the check.
You should be aware of the fact that some financial
institutions have separate routing numbers intended only for
deposits. As you're ordering your new checks, make sure you
take a close look to see if these numbers are identical or
The numbers and digits used in account numbers can be very
different depending on where you bank. It will normally
follow your routing number on the MICR line.
When entering your account number on websites for most
online check printers, you can use certain keys to enter
symbols in the number not found on your keyboard.
There can also be spaces within your account number. If
you're not sure how many spaces are between digits, you can
use a ruler to measure another physical check. Each space is
1/8 of an inch.
You can also find the actual check number on the MICR line.
All that this piece of information represents is the
sequential number used to identify a specific check. You can
also find the check number in the top right corner of all
your personal checks.
When you enter the information found on your MICR line, it's
crucial to make sure all information is correct. Double check
for typos and accuracy. That means double-checking your old
check so you're positive the routing and account numbers are