How to find the routing number on a check

A routing number is a key element in all sorts of banking transactions. Along with an account number, it tells banks where the money should go or come from during a transaction.

It can be useful to know your bank account’s routing number for a number of reasons. And you can look for a routing number on a check. Add to your financial knowledge by learning more about routing numbers and how to find them. 

Key takeaways

  • A routing number is located in the bottom left-hand corner of a paper check.
  • The nine-digit routing number identifies the bank or other financial institution.
  • You might also find your account’s routing number by signing in to your online account or mobile app.
  • A routing number is needed for transactions involving checks, automated payments and direct deposits.

See if you’re pre-approved

Check for pre-approval offers with no risk to your credit score.

Get started

What is a routing number?

A routing number is a nine-digit set of numbers that functions as a bank’s or credit union’s identifier or ID number. The American Bankers Association (ABA) assigns routing numbers to financial institutions with Federal Reserve bank accounts. 

Larger, national financial institutions may have different routing numbers in different states. And some banks may have separate routing numbers for electronic transactions—known as Automated Clearing House (ACH) routing numbers.

Where is the routing number on a check?

The routing number on a check is the first group of numbers in the bottom left corner. It should be nine digits long. The second set of numbers is the checking account number, and the third set of numbers is the check number.

Graphic of a sample check identifying the routing number and other numbers.

How to find your routing number without a check

There are a few ways you can find your routing number if you don’t have a checkbook:

  • Visit your bank’s website.
  • Check your online account or mobile app.
  • Look at your bank statement.
  • Contact your bank to ask.

If you’re a Capital One customer, here’s how to find the routing number for your Capital One account.

Why are routing numbers important?

Routing numbers are critical to ensure funds go to or come from the right financial institution during a transaction. You may need to use your routing number to:

Routing numbers in a nutshell

Routing numbers are nine-digit codes that identify banks and other financial institutions. Routing numbers are needed for many different types of banking transactions, so it’s a good idea to make sure your routing number is correct. If it’s incorrect, it can prevent the transaction from going through. You can find your routing number on a check, online or by contacting the bank. 

If you’re new to banking, there’s still more to learn about checks. Here’s how to write a check to help you get started.

Related Content