I just opened a new account at Bank of America. The checks they sell aren't cheap and I heard that you can buy checks elsewhere. Does this mean that I can just buy a packet of blanket check and just fill in my account and routing number?

I've never done something like this before so I just want to make sure.

Also, I'm not sure if this is allowed, but if so, could I get a recommendation for places to buy cheap checks?


  • Some check printing services offer a "first time customer" discount deal to encourage you to try them out. Shop around... Note to that many banks provide the checks free if you maintain a high enough balance, again as a marketing tool.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


No, you give them your account and routing number, and they pre-print it. It has to be printed with a special MICR ink and with a special font. You can buy a cartridge of such ink for your printer and print it yourself on a bunch of stock check paper, but it won't be any cheaper.

More information about the MICR line on a check:

The bottom line on all checks printed and used in North America (and many other countries worldwide) is printed using a special font called MICR (short for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition). MICR is usually pronounced My-ker. The bottom line on a check must always be printed in the MICR typeface using a special magnetic ink.

MICR line on a check

The MICR line on a check allows the check information to be automatically read by inexpensive machines. This is the only way that huge numbers of checks can be processed each day.

MICR line printing needs to be accurate to better than 1 part in 1,000! Your magnetic toner must stay on the paper under adverse conditions and have a specific signal strength.

You can look at prices at Walmart, Costco or Vistaprint, they're all pretty cheap.

  • 1
    And the checks can be plain, just colored paper, or have nearly any kind of design you wish. Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 16:38

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