The Anatomy of a Check

The diagram below explains the components of a personal bank check. Move your mouse over any area of the check for a description of each component.

Check Personalization
There are 5 lines available for you information on your personal checks. Check personalization may include your name, spouse's name, address, and optional information such as your phone number or driver's license number.
Bank Information
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.
Cut / Monogram Area
If your check design allows it, you may select an optional cut or monogram to appear to the left of your check personalization.
Over Signature Text Area
Many check designs allow for a personalized message above the signature line on your personal checks.
Bank Routing Number
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.
Check Number
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.
Signature Line
The account owner endorses the signature line on the bottom of a personal check to authorize its use.
Your Check's "Pay To" Line
The "Pay To" line is where you identify the person/business to whom the check is written.
Dollars Box
The "Dollars" box is where you write the numeric amount of the check. It is written out additionally on the amount line (see below), which is below the "Pay To" line on the check.
Amount Line
This line is provided for you to write out the amount of your check.
The fraction on your check is used to identify your bank.
Padlock Icon
This icon references security features which have been included on your personal checks to help your bank identify check fraud. These security features are described on the back of your checks.