Before you begin using your checking account, it's a good idea to become familiar with the parts of a check. A check contains several important parts that communicate what is to be done with your money. This communication takes place among you, (the check writer), the person you write the check to and the bank, who distributes your money. Even with online banking as a main way many people pay their bills, knowing the ins and outs of the parts of a check will come in handy when you need to write a check for that odd purchase or payment.
- Check number and date. Each check has its own number. This helps the bank track the checks you write with your checking account. The check number is found in two places on a check—at the very top right and at the bottom line of numbers on the right side. The date line is a blank line at the top of each check. The line usually reads "Date." This is where you write in the date you write the check.
- Pay to the order of and dollars. The words "Pay to the order of" are followed by a blank line. This is where you write in who you are paying money to. This might be a person, a business or an organization. There are two places for you to write the dollar amount of the check. One place is next to the dollar sign ($). Enter the amount there, such as $34.10. On the next line, there should be "Dollars" at the end of the line. Write out the words of the amount, such as Thirty-four dollars and 10 cents.
- Signature line. The signature line is on the right hand side at the bottom of the check. This is where you sign your name, making the check a legal transaction.
- Memorandum line. This line is at the bottom on the left hand side of the check. It might read "For," "Memo" or something else. This is a place for you to write what the check is for, such as "deposit on apartment" or "donation to Boys and Girls Club."
- Routing number and checking account number. The routing number is at the bottom of the check on the left hand side. It is nine digits long and is basically the name of the bank or financial institution where you have your checking account. The routing number is the bank's name in numeral form. The checking account number is located immediately after the ":" that appears after the routing number. The checking account number varies in length depending on the bank.