A Quick Guide to Understanding the Parts of a Check

Even if you don’t write checks or have a checking account, you certainly have been issued a check before. Maybe as a gift or part of your pay, you get one. Now in today’s digital world, you can use one to pay online for things and never actually write it longhand. Read on to learn the parts of a check so you can write them, use them, and understand them when they’re written to you.

It should be noted that the parts of a personal and the parts of a business one might vary. Here are the parts of a personal check.

Payer’s Information

On the top left side there will be personal information about who is writing the check. This will include their name and address. Some people also choose to have their phone number and their driver’s license number printed here too.


On the top right there is a place to write in the date the payer is issuing the check. This can help the payer keep track of it. It also shows when it can be cashed. 

Most banks have a time limit for when they will cash a check.

Pay to the Order Of

The pay to the order of line is just below the payer’s personal information. This line is filled in showing who it is being issued to. The name on this line is who will sign to cash it. 

Amount Box

This box is at the end of the pay to the order of the line. It is the place where you would write in the amount of the check using numbers.

Amount Line in Words

Below the pay to the order line is a line that runs the width of the check. Here you would write out in words the dollar and cents from the amount box.

Memo Line

The memo line is in the bottom left corner. The allows the payer to make a note of what it is for. Or it can let the payee know why they’re receiving it too. 

Signature Line

The signature line is in the bottom right corner. The payer or the person issuing the check signs the check to indicate they are authorizing and making this check official. 

Routing Number

The routing number, sometimes called the ABA routing number, is the first set of 9 numbers in the lower-left corner. These 9 numbers help to identify the financial institution that the money is being drawn from.

Account Number

The account number is the series of numbers that follows the routing number. This is what identifies the payee’s bank account. 

Check Number

The number is found in the upper right corner. Checks are issued in numerical order.  Those numbers are not for the bank’s purposes, but instead to help the issuer keep track of their checks. 

Understand the Parts of a Check

Identifying parts of a check doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you know the parts of the check yourself, it makes it easy to write them and to cash them too. 

If you need to cash one, we can help. Contact us today about our cashing services. 

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