photo of a check

How to Write a Check

Writing a check for the first time can be a challenge… but it doesn’t need to be! All you need is your checkbook, a pen and your checkbook register.

Here is how you can write a check in just a few, quick steps:

  1. Date Line. In the upper right-hand corner, you will write the date you are making payment or the agreed upon date when the payee is authorized to cash your check.
  2. "Pay To The Order Of" Line. This is where you will write the name of the person, business or organization you are making payment to. As a best practice, it’s always best to write out the full name of the payee instead of abbreviations or acronyms.
  3. The blank line and empty box. The blank line in the middle of the check is for you to write out the amount of dollars and cents in words, for example “One hundred thirty-five & 50/100.” The box to the right of this line is where you write the numerical value of payment, so in this case, "135.50."
  4. “For” line. This optional line is where you can make note of what the payment is for, such as “car payment” or “charitable donation.”
  5. Signature line. In the bottom right corner, this line is where you, being one of the named individuals on the account, sign your name and authorize payment.

    Once you’ve written your check, we recommend either using duplicate checks (where you have a carbon copy of the check you’ve just written) or recording the transaction in a checkbook register to track the payment when you balance your checkbook.

example of a filled-out check For your reference, the below table contains the spelling of additional numbers that can be found when writing your check:
0 zero 20 twenty 40 forty 60 sixty 80 eighty 100 one hundred
1 one 21 twenty-one 41 forty-one 61 sixty-one 81 eighty-one 200 two hundred
2 two 22 twenty-two 42 forty-two 62 sixty-two 82 eighty-two 300 three hundred
3 three 23 twenty-three 43 forty-three 63 sixty-three 83 eighty-three 400 four hundred
4 four 24 twenty-four 44 forty-four 64 sixty-four 84 eighty-four 500 five hundred
5 five 25 twenty-five 45 forty-five 65 sixty-five 85 eighty-five 600 six hundred
6 six 26 twenty-six 46 forty-six 66 sixty-six 86 eighty-six 700 seven hundred
7 seven 27 twenty-seven 47 forty-seven 67 sixty-seven 87 eighty-seven 800 eight hundred
8 eight 28 twenty-eight 48 forty-eight 68 sixty-eight 88 eighty-eight 900 nine hundred
9 nine 29 twenty-nine 49 forty-nine 69 sixty-nine 89 eighty-nine 1,000 one thousand
10 ten 30 thirty 50 fifty 70 seventy 90 ninety 2,000 two thousand
11 eleven 31 thirty-one 51 fifty-one 71 seventy-one 91 ninety-one 3,000 three thousand
12 twelve 32 thirty-two 52 fifty-two 72 seventy-two 92 ninety-two 4,000 four thousand
13 thirteen 33 thirty-three 53 fifty-three 73 seventy-three 93 ninety-three 5,000 five thousand
14 fourteen 34 thirty-four 54 fifty-four 74 seventy-four 94 ninety-four 6,000 six thousand
15 fifteen 35 thirty-five 55 fifty-five 75 seventy-five 95 ninety-five 7,000 seven thousand
16 sixteen 36 thirty-six 56 fifty-six 76 seventy-six 96 ninety-six 8,000 eight thousand
17 seventeen 37 thirty-seven 57 fifty-seven 77 seventy-seven 97 ninety-seven 9,000 nine thousand
18 eighteen 38 thirty-eight 58 fifty-eight 78 seventy-eight 98 ninety-eight 10,000 ten thousand
19 nineteen 39 thirty-nine 59 fifty-nine 79 seventy-nine 99 ninety-nine 100,000 one hundred thousand