What are the numbers on a check? At the bottom of a check, you will see three groups of numbers. The first group is your routing number, the second is your account number and the third is your check number.

Knowing how to locate these important numbers is useful for setting up automatic payments for monthly bills and filing forms for actions such as direct deposit. Learn more about routing numbers, account numbers and check numbers below.

Bank check with routing account and check numbers

What is a routing number?

When you send or receive money directly from your bank account in transactions like electronic payments, banks need to know where that money is supposed to go. The routing number identifies the financial institution where your money is held and serves as a designation for where to send funds being paid to you. Employers require your routing number in order to set up payment systems like direct deposit.1

Where is the routing number located on a check?

The first set of numbers on the lower left corner of a check is the routing number. Keep in mind the routing numbers are 9-digit codes and the character symbol surrounding the numbers is not part of the routing number on a check. Routing numbers, sometimes called transit numbers, are public and may vary based on the region where you opened your account.

Which number is the account number on a check?

The second set of numbers following the character symbol immediately after your routing number is your account number. Sometimes the placement can be switched with the check number. To determine your account number, simply choose the longer number. This number is private and unique to your bank account – you’ll find it only on your personal checks or by signing into your online account.

What is a checking account number?

Your checking account number designates and identifies your unique account at the bank you use. Your bank uses this number to indicate where funds intended for you should be deposited or withdrawn from. Any time you set up payment systems such as direct deposit or an electronic payment app, you’ll need to provide this number.2

What is a check number and where is it located?

The check number is usually the last set of numbers on your personal check, but it could be switched in placement with the account number. They’re the shortest set of numbers on the check and hold no significance besides helping you keep track of which check you’re writing.

Where to find routing and account numbers without a check

Checks aren’t the only place to find your routing and account numbers. Every major bank has a mobile banking app and website through which customers can access their unique bank accounts and the numbers associated with those accounts. You’ll also find these numbers on your bank statements. If you’re not signed up for paperless banking, then these statements will regularly come in the mail every month. If you are, you can also access your statements through your bank’s website or mobile app. If digital means are inaccessible to you for whatever reason, you can obtain your routing and account numbers by calling or visiting your bank in person.

1https://www.us.hsbc.com/faqs/routing-number/, Accessed September 2021.
2https://www.valuepenguin.com/banking/checking-account-number, Accessed September 2021.

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