The Numbers On The Bottom Of A Check

The entire bottom row of numbers on a check is called the MICR line. It is made up of first the routing number, followed by the bank account number, then the number of the check.

The string of numbers on the bottom of a check represent:

  1. Routing Number: Links to the bank on which the check is drawn.
  2. Account Number: Identifies which account is to be charged for the value of the check.
  3. Check Number: Tracking number for the account holder.
Chalkboard lesson of what do the numbers on the bottom of a check mean

Where is the routing number on a check?

The routing number (also called the ABA number) is the 1st set of numbers in the MICR line. It is typically a nine-digit code used to identify the financial institution that the check comes from. 

Routing numbers are also used to send or receive money through direct deposits, wire transfers, bill payments, etc.

Related Reading: Take a look at these posts to find your routing number for Chase bank, Wells Fargo routing, and Navy Federal.

Which number is the account number on a check?

The account number is the second set of numbers located on the bottom of a check; It is right after the routing number. Sometimes it may be the 3rd set; however, you will be able to identify it as being the longer number.

Your checking account number is a unique identifier that connects to your account at a bank. If you have both a checking and savings account, they will each have their own account number.

When you set up an electronic payment or direct deposit, you will need both your routing number to designate the bank where the funds are/should be and the account number for the specific account.

Sample check showing the location of the routing number, account number, and check number

Related Reading: Learn more about how to read a check here.

What is a check number and where is it located?

The check number is typically the last and shortest set of numbers on the bottom of a personal check. A check number is 3 to 4 digits. Its purpose is to help you keep track of checks you’ve written and balance your checkbook.

How to find routing and account numbers

Other than using a check, you can find your routing and account number online, on your bank’s mobile app, on your bank statements, by calling customer service or going into a physical location. Routing numbers are public information and can be found on the bank’s website. To find your account number, you will have to set up an online account and sign in.


What happens if someone has your bank account number and routing number?

Safeguard your account details. Someone can steal your money if they have access to your bank account number and routing number by setting up a transfer or buying items online. Check your bank account balance regularly to keep track of charges.

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