Check Printing Requirements

A bank check requires certain information be presented.
A bank check requires certain information be presented. (Image: check book image by Rob Hill from <a href=''></a>)

You are about to buy a new supply of bank checks and wonder what information must be included on business and personal checks drawn on United States Banks. Regardless of the design or background artwork on your checks the information that is required on checks is the same for all banks.

Account holder name(s)

Your name and the name of any joint account holders, or the business name, must appear on the face of the check. This information is normally located in the upper left hand corner of the checks and is printed in all capital letters in bold-face type.

Address and phone number

Your current home or business address is printed directly below your name(s). The address must contain a street address, city, state and zip code. The type for the address will be smaller in size and will not be bold-faced. Most business establishments will not cash your check if it does not bear a telephone number.

Checks bear your name and address.
Checks bear your name and address. (Image: address image by Aleksander from <a href=''></a>)

Check and bank numbers

The individual check number and your home bank location code are printed in the upper right hand corner of the check. An example of the bank code number might look like this: 16-24/1220. The check number will be in bold-face type.

Each check is numbered.
Each check is numbered. (Image: numbers image by Amer Delibasic from <a href=''></a>)

Date line

The date you write the check is entered on a line printed near the check number.

Each check is dated.
Each check is dated. (Image: throw-over calendar image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from <a href=''></a>)

Pay to: line

A line must be printed with the notation “Pay to the order of” preceding the line. You will enter the name of the person or business to whom the check is written on this line.

Bank checks

The amount of the check is entered in two locations. At the end of the pay to line, the amount of the check is entered in numbers, for example, $125.50. A clarifying line of text just below the pay to line spells out the amount; for example, One hundred twenty-five and 50/100 dollars.

Check amount
Check amount (Image: check and pen in close up image by Alexey Klementiev from <a href=''></a>)

Issuing bank

The bank that will pay against the check is identified on the check. This usually displays the bank logo and name, for example, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. California,

Issuing bank
Issuing bank (Image: bank image by Pefkos from <a href=''></a>)

Bank reconciliation and sorting line

The bottom line on your checks must contain the information used to mechanically sort checks for return to your bank. The numbers will contain the bank routing number, your individual account number and the check number. The printed numbers must be printed in a special ink designated MIRC, for magnetic ink character recognition. A distinctive text font makes the line readable by high volume sorting equipment.

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