Routing numbers have been in use since 1910. The American Bankers Association (ABA)assigns routing numbers to each financial institution for the purpose of identifying which financial institution is responsible for payment. For example, when you write a check, the recipient may not use the same bank as you, but because their bank can identify your bank by the routing number, the check can be cashed.
Locate the numbers on the bottom of your check, starting in the lower-left corner.
Use the first nine digits as the ABA routing number. The remaining digits are the account number. For example, if the numbers on the bottom of your check are 112120221345654442206, the ABA routing number is 112120221 and the account number is 345654442206. There may also be sequential check numbers after the account number.
Go to the Federal Reserve E-Payments Routing Directory website and enter your bank's name and, if known, the bank's city and state, then click "Search". The website will display the ABA routing number for your bank.
Based in the Kansas City area, Mike specializes in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."