Skip to Main Content

What is the routing number on a check and how does it work?

man signing a check
PeopleImages/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .

Routine banking transactions like online bill payments, check processing and  wire transfers require a bank routing number. Here’s an explanation of what a routing number is and how it works.

What is a routing number?

A routing number is a nine-digit bank identification number. Think of it as a numerical address that allows a bank to send and receive money from other financial institutions. The routing number identifies the financial institution responsible for the payment and ensures that funds go to the right place.

Routing numbers were developed by the American Bankers Association in 1910 for processing checks. They’re also known as ABA routing numbers or routing transit numbers. Today, routing numbers are used in numerous banking transactions, such as direct deposits, wire transfers, payments using applications like Venmo, payments made by phone and more.

Each routing number is unique to one financial institution and helps avoid confusion. Routing numbers ensure that checks intended for Citibank don’t go to CIT Bank, for example.

A bank or credit union may have more than one routing number, which is often the case with big banks like Bank of America and Chase Bank, which have two routing numbers in some states.

Banks also can have separate routing numbers for different types of transactions — one for processing paper checks and another for wire transfers, for example.

When you’ll need your routing number

By knowing what a routing number is and where to find it, you’ll be able to complete a variety of banking transactions with ease.

Routing numbers are used for lots of everyday banking tasks, including:

  • Setting up direct deposit of your paycheck through your employer.
  • Setting up direct deposit of Social Security or other government benefits.
  • Setting up automatic online bill payment.
  • Check processing.
  • Sending and receiving wire transfers.
  • Making person-to-person payments using services like Venmo or PayPal.
  • Making payments from your bank account by telephone.
  • When reordering checks.
  • For budgeting apps that are linked to your bank account.

How to find a routing number

Because bank routing numbers are used for so many transactions, it’s important that you know how to find your bank’s numerical identification.

How to find a routing number with a check

If you have a paper check, you can find the routing number easily. It appears in the bottom left corner of your check. It’s the first set of nine numbers and begins with a 0, 1, 2 or 3.

A check

The second set of numbers is your account number and the third set of numbers is the check number. These sets of numbers are clearly separated.

How to find a routing number without a check

Fewer bank customers even use paper checks these days. Let’s say you want to pay your electric bill by phone or set up direct deposit of your paycheck with your employer, but don’t have a paper check to refer to. There are other ways to get a bank routing number.

Unlike personal account numbers, routing numbers are not private information, so your bank has to share it with you. Some banks make it easy to find routing numbers; with others, it can take a little more effort.

  • Go online: Your bank may post its routing number online via its website or mobile banking app. Sign in to your online bank account and go to “account information” or “account summary.”  The routing number should be clearly listed. Some banks post the routing number on the home page of their website, or it can be found by searching the site. It might be in the FAQs. You can also do an internet search of your bank’s name and the phrase “routing number.”
  • Bank statement: You might find the routing number on your monthly paper or electronic bank statement, but not all banks include it.
  • Call the bank. You can count on a customer service representative to give you the routing number or confirm the one you found online.
  • Visit a branch. Some banks display the routing number in the lobby for customers’ convenience. If not, ask a teller to give it to you.

Bank of America routing numbers

State Routing Number
Alabama 051000017
Alaska 051000017
Arizona 122101706
Arkansas 082000073
California 121000358
Colorado 123103716
Connecticut 011900254
Delaware 031202084
District of Columbia 054001204
Florida 063100277
Georgia 061000052
Hawaii 051000017
Idaho 123103716
Illinois (northern) 071000505
Illinois (southern) 081904808
Indiana 071214579
Iowa 073000176
Kansas 101100045
Kentucky 064000020
Louisiana 051000017
Maine 011200365
Maryland 052001633
Massachusetts 011000138
Michigan 072000805
Minnesota 071214579
Mississippi 051000017
Missouri 081000032
Montana 051000017
Nebraska 051000017
Nevada 122400724
New Hampshire 011400495
New Jersey 021200339
New Mexico 107000327
New York 021000322
North Carolina 053000196
North Dakota 051000017
Ohio 071214579
Oklahoma 103000017
Oregon 323070380
Pennsylvania 031202084
Rhode Island 011500010
South Carolina 053904483
South Dakota 051000017
Tennessee 064000020
Texas 111000025
Utah 123103716
Vermont 051000017
Virginia 051000017
Washington 125000024
West Virginia 051000017
Wisconsin 051000017
Wyoming 051000017

Source: Bank of America

Chase Bank routing numbers

State Routing number
Arizona 122100024
California 322271627
Colorado 102001017
Connecticut 021100361
Florida 267084131
Georgia 061092387
Idaho 123271978
Illinois 071000013
Indiana 074000010
Kentucky 083000137
Louisiana 065400137
Michigan 072000326
Nevada 322271627
New Jersey 021202337
New York (upstate) 022300173
New York (downstate) 021000021
Ohio 044000037
Oklahoma 103000648
Oregon 325070760
Texas 111000614
Utah 124001545
Washington 325070760
West Virginia 051900366
Wisconsin 075000019

Source: Chase Bank
Note: For states not listed, check with a local branch, call Chase to confirm your routing number, or refer to a check or the Chase mobile app. 

Wells Fargo  Bank routing numbers

State Routing number
Alabama 062000080
Alaska 125200057
Arizona 122105278
Arkansas 111900659
California 121042882
Colorado 102000076
Connecticut 021101108
Delaware 031100869
District of Columbia 054001220
Florida 063107513
Georgia 061000227
Hawaii 121042882
Idaho 124103799
Illinois 071101307
Indiana 074900275
Iowa 073000228
Kansas 101089292
Kentucky 121042882
Louisiana 121042882
Maine 121042882
Maryland 055003201
Massachusetts 121042882
Michigan 091101455
Minnesota 091000019
Mississippi 062203751
Missouri 113105449
Montana 092905278
Nebraska 104000058
Nevada 321270742
New Hampshire 121042882
New Jersey 021200025
New Mexico 107002192
New York 026012881
North Carolina 053000219
North Dakota  091300010
Ohio 041215537
Oklahoma 121042882
Oregon 123006800
Pennsylvania 031000503
Rhode Island 121042882
South Carolina 053207766
South Dakota 091400046
Tennessee 064003768
Texas 111900659
Texas (El Paso) 112000066
Utah 124002971
Vermont 121042882
Virginia 051400549
Washington 125008547
West Virginia 121042882
Wisconsin 075911988
Wyoming 102301092

Source: Wells Fargo

Learn more:

Written by
Libby Wells
Contributing writer
Libby Wells covers banking and deposit products. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and online publications.
Edited by
Wealth editor