Account number on a check: Where to find it

When you look at a check, you may notice groups of numbers at the bottom—the account number, routing number and check number. Each of these groups has a specific function, and familiarizing yourself with them can help make banking a more seamless process.

Use this guide to learn more about account numbers on a check and how they’re used in everyday financial transactions.

Key takeaways

  • The account number is the second group of numbers at the bottom of a check and provides a unique identifier for a single bank account.
  • You can also find your account number on your monthly bank statement, through a bank representative or on an online banking platform.
  • Two additional numbers that can be found on a check are the routing number, which identifies the financial institution, and the check number, which identifies the individual check. It’s important to know the difference between these two numbers, as they are not interchangeable. 
  • It’s important to keep your account number secure as it allows access to your personal and financial information.

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What’s the account number on a check?

The account number on a check identifies your personal bank account at a specific financial institution. Think of the account number like a fingerprint for your bank account. No two account numbers are the same. And if you have multiple accounts, they’ll each be assigned a different set of numbers.

When a transaction is posted—whether it’s money coming in or going out—the account number tells the bank where to deposit or withdraw the money from. It’s important to keep your specific account number private and secure so no one else can access your banking information. 

Knowing how to locate your account number is important for a variety of financial transactions, such as:

  • Enrolling in direct deposit for paychecks or tax purposes.
  • Setting up electronic payments or money transfers.
  • Making wire transfers.
  • Sending and receiving funds through digital payment platforms.
An example of a check with an account number listed on the bottom.

The blank section on the check above shows where the account number can be found on a typical check.

Where’s the account number on a check?

When looking at a check, you’ll notice three separate groups of numbers at the bottom. The account number is the second grouping of numbers—typically no more than 12 digits long. When providing your account number, it’s important to ensure each digit is correct. Otherwise, an error could lead to a bounced check or late fee due to a delay in processing.

Other ways to find an account number besides on a check

You may not always have a physical checkbook on hand. In this case, there are a few alternative ways you can retrieve your account number besides using a check.

  • Monthly bank statement: Using your monthly statement, locate the account number—typically at the upper right- or left-hand corner of the page. Depending on the financial institution, the full account number may be hidden for security purposes.
  • Bank representative: You can call your financial institution and provide qualifying information to retrieve the account number.
  • Online banking platforms: You can typically find the account number using mobile banking from an app or desktop version of your bank’s website. Sign in to the portal and look for your account summary. This section should show your account number, but note that some of it may be hidden. Certain financial institutions have the option to “show,” “unhide” or “expand” the remainder of the number. If not, you can speak to a banking representative to collect the entire account number.

Account number vs. routing number

While the account number identifies the specific bank account, the routing number on a check identifies the financial institution. The routing number—also referred to as an ABA (American Bankers Association) routing number—acts like an address for the specific bank. When looking at a check, it’s the nine-digit group of numbers in the bottom left-hand corner.

Routing numbers are used in certain financial situations, such as:

  • Processing checks.
  • Domestic wire transfers.
  • Setting up direct deposit.
  • Depositing tax refunds directly into a bank account.
  • Reordering checks.

What’s the check number?

The check number—which identifies the individual check—is the last set of digits at the bottom right of a check, but it can also be located in the upper right-hand corner. The check number is used for record-keeping purposes and is particularly useful when balancing a checkbook.

How to safeguard your account number and other bank information

The numbers on a check allow you and others to access your financial information. This is why it’s important to safeguard these numbers as much as possible. Here are a few tips to keep your account number and other bank account information secure:

  • Practice safe online banking habits when entering account numbers online.
  • Create strong passwords.
  • Use two-factor authentication—if the option is available—for enhanced security when accessing your account.
  • Don’t write down your account number or enter it on a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Report lost or stolen checks or cards associated with your account as soon as possible.
  • Use unique passwords on all your devices in case a device is lost or stolen.

Account numbers on checks in a nutshell

After you open a bank account online or at your brick-and-mortar financial institution, it’s important to know how to find your account number. Familiarizing yourself with the numbers on a check can help streamline your financial transactions and keep your account secure.

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