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I saw this which describes generally how to print checks. And this which basically says there's no standard for the layout of the graphics/text on the checks, but you need the checking/routing number in (ideally) magnetic ink.

However, what I would like to know is the paper to use to print your own checks. People seem to say that "special check paper" is "more secure" because of security features, which I don't fully understand. It seems to me that you can still counterfeit a check by just printing it out on secure check paper too, but I'm probably missing something here still. But anyways, people suggest using secure check paper.

A search on Amazon doesn't show many results, but here's one of them. They are blank on one side, but on the back where you're supposed to sign the check, they look like this:

enter image description here

I am looking for blank checks you can completely custom design. I am wondering if you are allowed to even customize the back of the check, or what is allowed/not allowed to go there.

In addition, that VersaCheck check paper seems to require that you download their software and even give them your checking account number so that they can "verify your account". That to me seems really insecure and I wonder if this is necessary to get the security features when using custom checks.

But my main question is, if there exists completely blank (front and back) secure check paper for custom printing in which I don't have to provide my checking account number to a third party. Or if not, what the closest is to this.

I want to have completely custom printed checks on the front and the back with all possible security features, and print them out myself. Wondering what this takes. I understand the need for magnetic ink, and have read that a basic over-the-counter inkjet printer will do for printing checks. But reading about VersaCheck it sounds like "to obtain all the security features" you need them to print out the checks (presumably on custom expensive printers), so I don't understand if it's possible or not to print out the checks on your own.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Fattie, Dheer, JoeTaxpayer Dec 25 '18 at 19:23

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Why? What do you think you're improving? – quid Dec 24 '18 at 4:17
  • I just want custom designed checks, and want to print them on my own printer. Not improving anything else. – Lance Pollard Dec 24 '18 at 4:17
  • If you want "all possible security features," then why do you want to customize the back of the check and print it yourself, when you have already seen that they sell checks with a blank front and the security features on the back? – Ben Miller Dec 24 '18 at 4:31
  • One of the more common forms of check fraud is check washing. If you want "secure" checks you need check stock and ink that is resistant to being erased with solvents, or leaves an obvious indication that alteration has been attempted. Most check thieves don't want to go to the effort of printing checks, it's easier to steal them from the mail and use solvents to modify the payee or the amount. – Charles E. Grant Dec 24 '18 at 4:37
  • I want to customize the front and back, period. Check security sounds like a scam anyways since banks allow you to take pictures of checks with your phone. I can think of better check security measures anyways, so forget the security requirement, I am thinking of just using plain cotton paper now. – Lance Pollard Dec 24 '18 at 4:45
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Security features on checks do not prevent all check fraud, but they do make it more difficult for amateurs to copy and/or alter checks.

Some of the security features are related to coatings on the paper (chemical protection, chemical erasure protection, fluorescent fibers) and others are related to printing on the paper itself (security screen, artificial watermark, microprint). So even if you were able to purchase specially coated paper with absolutely no printing on it on either side (which I've never seen available retail), it would be missing some of the key security features that banks want to see.

These printed security features are on both the front and back of the checks, and this is by design. Consumer-grade printers are not really capable of printing features like the artificial watermark or the microprint signature lines. You would not be able to duplicate "all possible security features" yourself using standard computer printers.

Printing your own checks from scratch does not enhance your security in any way. The security features on checks hinder people from duplicating or altering your physical checks, but they do not prevent someone from forging your checks. Indeed, if you can print your own, so can someone else.

If your goal is to avoid the use of the VersaCheck software, then see this question from Software Recommendations.

  • This was great, very helpful, thank you! One last thing, you mention "some of the key security features that banks want to see." Wondering where I can find a list of these features, and I wonder if this means banks won't accept custom printed checks with a blank back or on plain cotton paper. – Lance Pollard Dec 24 '18 at 4:49
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    @LancePollard When you print checks, remember that you are not printing them for yourself. You are printing them for the people you give them to, and you want them to be able to use them. As check fraud is becoming increasingly common, more banks are getting strict about not accepting checks that don't look like real checks, as they are more likely to be fake. So, yes, I would say that many banks will give people a hard time when they try to cash your checks if they have a blank back. – Ben Miller Dec 24 '18 at 4:59
  • Ok great, thank you. I've added a follow-up question about that for more detail. – Lance Pollard Dec 24 '18 at 5:04

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