Anatomy of a Check

The diagram below highlights specific check components. Move your mouse over any area of the check for a description of each component.

Monogram or Symbol
An optional monogram or decorative symbol is available on some check designs.
Personalization
The area for printing up to 5 lines of your personal information, including name(s), address, and optional information such as your phone number.
Fraction
Fractional number which identifies your bank.
Check Number
This sequential number, printed in two locations, allows you to keep track of
the checks you write.
Dollar Box
Area to write the numeric amount of the check.
Padlock Icon
This icon references security features that have been incorporated to help your financial institution detect attempts at fraud. The features are detailed on the back of each check.
Bank Information
Your bank's information must be printed on your checks, which may include the bank's name, address, city, state, and zip. Verify this information with your bank.
Over Signature Area
This area is designated for an optional personal message. Some check designs incorporate their own message in this area.
Signature Line
This is the area where an account owner signs the check to authorize its use.
Routing Number
This 9-digit number identifies your bank. The number starts with 0, 1, 2, or 3.
Personalization
There are 5 lines available for the personalization of your checks. This information typically includes your name and address and optional information such as your phone number. For security reasons, we recommend that you avoid from including your driver's license number on your checks. For your protection and due to laws in several states, printing social security numbers on any material to be delivered by mail is no longer permitted.
Bank Information
Your bank information must be printed on your checks. The bank name is required, but you may also need to include your bank's address. Refer to your existing checks to determine what information should be included here.
Symbol/ Monogram area
If the design of your check allows, you may select an optional symbol or monogram to appear to the left of your personalization
Over Signature Text Area
If the design of your check allows for it, you may include a personal message in the over signature area on your checks.
Routing Number
The first number in the MICR line at the bottom of your check is your bank's routing number. It is 9 digits long and always starts with 0, 1, 2 or 3.
Account Number
Your account number may appear before or after your check number in your check's MICR line.
Check Number
The sequential number for your checks appears in both the MICR line at the bottom of your checks and the upper right corner of your checks. This number allows you to keep track of the checks you write.
Signature Line
The account owner endorses the signature line on a check to authorize its use.
Pay To Line
The "Pay To" line is where you identify the person/business to whom the check is written.
Dollars Box
The "Dollars" box is where you write the numeric amount of the check. It is written out additionally on the amount line, which is below the "Pay To" line on the check.
Amount Line
This line is provided for you to write out the amount of your check.
Fraction
The fraction on your check is used to identify your bank.
Padlock Icon
This icon references security features which have been included on your checks to help your bank identify check fraud. These features are described on the back of your checks.

Check Security

The Check Gallery, Inc. was instrumental in the formation of the American Mail Order Association (AMOCA) and remains an active member.

AMOCA was formed to represent some of America's leading direct mail check companies.

AMOCA instituted FRAUD ALERT, a procedure to identify and prevent unauthorized orders of checks. This is something most financial institutions are not involved with. The organization acts as a clearing house for suspected fraudulent check order requests. If one AMOCA member discovers a possible unauthorized order, the other members are notified within 24 hours to stop the check order from being processed.

Each member of AMOCA agrees to follow the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) high criteria for check printing, the same standards followed by all accepted financial institutions.

Checks under the AMOCA guarantee are printed with all of the same specifications required of any financial institution and therefore must be accepted by them in the course of daily banking. Any bank refusing these checks, or warning against security violations (because of account numbers being given out) is doing so in an effort to regain the loss of revenue they experience by their clients purchasing checks elsewhere and for less cost. Banking is, after all, a business.

  • Additional security measures on all our checks are:

  • The lock icon to the right of the word "Dollars", indicating to the Bank or Credit Union that the check contains security features that will help them detect a COPY from the ORIGINAL document.
  • The MP icon, indicating that micro-security print is used in the design. This is very small print that will break up if it is photocopied.
  • A panel, on the check reverse, describing some of the security features incorporated into the check design.