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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.

How To Write A Check

​Learn How to Write and Deposit a Check


How To Write A Check Video Transcript

Did you know checks are still a relevant form of payment with billions written every year, yet not everyone knows how to write or deposit one into their account? Don't worry, we will show you. First, write the date in the upper right-hand corner. Then write the name of the person or business you're making the check out to. Write the dollar amount in the small box and then spell it out in the dollars line directly below the pay to the order of line. If space remains, draw a line to prevent tampering. Sign your name on the bottom right-hand line. You can also include a note for you or the payee on the memo line, or just leave it blank. If you make a mistake, void the check and start again. On the bottom of the check, you'll see the financial institution's routing number and your account number. You'll need both if you plan to set up direct deposit or electronic payments, plus the check number that will show up on your account statement.

Once you receive a check, you have a couple options. You can bring the check to your financial institution to cash or you can deposit it into your account. To cash your check at your financial institution, flip it over and sign the back in the designated area. To deposit your check into your account, write for deposit only and sign it.

If available, you can also use your financial institution's mobile app to mobile deposit your check. It is easy to do with these few steps. Sign the back of your check in the designated area and write for mobile deposit at your financial institution's name below your signature. Or if available, check the box on your signature and add your financial institution's name and the date. After you fill out the back of the check, simply follow the instructions on your financial institutions app. It can be as simple as taking a picture of the front and back of the check. Once you are finished, write mobile deposit and the date on the front of the check. Make sure to keep your check for at least five days to make sure the transaction post to your account, and then you can destroy it. If mobile deposit is not available, you can stop by an ATM or your financial institution, and then you're done. Easy, right?

For your reference, the below table contains the spelling of additional numbers that can be found when writing your check:

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

We're happy you're here and hope this article helped you learn about checks! To discover even more about why checks are a great choice, continue reading with these articles: