Parts of a check

Parts of a Check

The components of a check include information printed directly on the check by the check printing company as well as information typed, printed or written by the drawer.

Printed Parts of a Check

  • Name and Address of Drawer. Usually printed at the top left. May be blank on starter checks and courtesy checks.
  • Bank Name / Drawee (Usually lower left corner; often includes city and state, website address, phone number, and “Member F.D.I.C.”)
  • Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) numbers. Numbers printed at the bottom of the check in special machine readable ink. Used to sort and deliver checks (or their images if converted during the clearing process).
  • Routing Transit Number (RTN). A 9 digit number in the lower left of the check’s MICR line indicating the bank upon which the check is drawn, i.e. drawee.
  • Account number. Encoded to the right of the RTN.
  • Check number. Usually printed at the top right corner of a check; included on the MICR line to the left or right of the account number.
  • Fractional form routing number. A fraction in the top right corner identifies the Drawee and corresponds to the RTN.

Data Entered on Check by Drawer

  • Payee(s). The drawer or maker will write the name(s) of the payee on the “Payable to the Order of” line. This could also be marked as “cash” or left blank.
  • Amount in words. Appearing on the “dollars” line, the amount written in words trumps the amount written in numbers if there is a discrepancy.
  • Amount in numbers. Numerical amount of the check written in a block next to the dollar sign.
  • Date. Written on a date line typically at the top right of the check.
  • Check number. The drawer may write a check number at the top right if not imprinted on the check, e.g. a “starter” check.
  • Memo line. The drawer may write a brief note concerning the purpose of the check on the memo line.