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How to Write a Check

A check is a payable on demand item.

This means it is negotiable as soon as it is written. Checks cannot be postdated (i.e., written for a future date). Some checks may be returned from the bank as "non-negotiable – stale dated" if the check is deposited six months after it is written or after the negotiable date on the check.

Fill out the check following the anatomy of a check below.


Anatomy of a Check

anatomy of a check

  1. Date is the date the check is written – cannot be a future date. 
  2. Maker is the person/business who writes the check – the name will be printed on the check. 
  3. Payee is the person/business to whom the check is written. 
  4. Signature line or lines – two or more signatures can be required on a check.
  5. Written amount is the amount written in numbers. 
  6. Legal amount is the amount written in words. 
  7. Check number which is printed on the check and appears in the MICR line on the bottom of the check. 
  8. Banking information is both the name on the bank and the American Banking Association number appearing on the check. 
  9. Account and routing numbers – appear on the bottom of the check in the MICR line.