The Elements of a Check


Drag your mouse over the areas outlined in red in the sample check below, to display brief explanations of (and tips for) its various parts.

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Provident Credit Union sample check image Provident Credit Union sample check image with writing Check NumberThis is the number associated with this individual check. Refer to this number when balancing your checkbook or when checking online to see if the check has been cashed. Name and Address Your personal information is pre-printed here (usually just name and address, and maybe phone number). When ordering new checks, never have them printed with your Social Security number, Driver's License number, or other sensitive information that could potentially be used for identity theft. Date Enter the date you are writing the check. "Post dating" the check with a future date will not necessarily prevent it from being cashed earlier. Payee Enter the name of the person or the company you are going to give the check to. Amount Box Enter the amount of the check, in numbers. Don't leave any space between the pre-printed dollar symbol ($) and the numbers indicating the amount of the check; there should be no room for someone to add in extra numbers. Amount Line Enter the amount of the check in words. Start writing at the far left side of the line. Follow the dollar amount by the word "and", then write the amount of cents over the number 100. Draw a line from the end of the 100 to the end of the line. Signature Line Sign your check exactly the way you signed your name on the signature card you filled out when you opened your account. Routing & Transit Number Provident's Routing & Transit Number is 321171731. This number is helpful when setting up Direct Deposit, Automatic Transfers/Withdrawals, and more. MICR Number This number is what you owed on the day your previous statement was prepared. All the debits and credits you incurred since that date (including finance charges) are applied to this amount to determine your current balance. Checking Account Number The number associated with your particular checking account is found here. It consists of the account number of your checking account, plus an additional digit that is necessary for proper check processing. It is not necessary to include preceding zeros when setting up automated deposits or withdrawals. Memo Use this space to note why you wrote the check. If you are paying a bill, this is a good place to put information requested by the company, such as your account number with them.