Frequently asked questions
Writing a Check
How do I write a check?
Here are the basics:
- Date: Write the date on the line above the word DATE. For the month, you can spell it out or use numbers.
- Payee: Where you see PAY TO THE ORDER OF, you will write the name of the person, company, or entity to which you are writing the check. Be sure to use the person’s full proper name — not Mom or Dad.
- Amount in Words: Under the payee information, you will see a blank space with the word DOLLARS at the end of the line. Here, you will spell out your payment amount, like this: Three hundred sixty-four and 25/100. The fraction in this example represents cents. If there are no cents owed, you can write “00/100” or “NO/100.” For example: Four hundred fifty and no/100.
- Amount in Numbers: In the box above the word DOLLARS, you will write the payment amount in numbers beside the dollar sign ($) symbol, for example: 364.25. If it is a round dollar amount with no change, make sure you use “.00” or “00/100” to avoid any confusion and to make it harder for someone to forge extra zeroes.
- Memo Line: In the lower left-hand corner is space for any details about the check you want to include. On your check, the word “FOR” may be to the left of this field. This line is optional. You can use this space to write a note to the recipient or to yourself about the payment. For example, if you’re writing a check to your babysitter, you can write “BABYSITTING” in this space.
- Your Signature: In the lower right-hand corner is space for your signature. Sign your name as it appears on your account information. Your check isn’t valid until your signature is on it.
What are the numbers on checks?
The numbers at the bottom of the check are, in order, the bank routing number, your account number, and the check number. Typically, the check number also appears in the upper right-hand corner of the check.
To learn more about these numbers, visit Finding Your Routing Number.