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MICR format requirements

The MICR line has an established format that can cause rejects if the format conventions are not followed. The MICR line is composed of four fields. The fields are, from right to left:

The following figure shows the MICR line field positions for a 152 mm (6 in.) check.

Figure 16. MICR line field positions
av1u0020

Amount field, Positions 1-12

The amount field is fixed by convention as follows:

On-us field, positions 14-31

The arrangement of characters and symbols in the on-us field is determined by the bank the checks are drawn on. These characters must be reproduced exactly as the bank has specified. Consultation with the bank is highly recommended.

Transit field, positions 33-43

The transit field identifies the institution upon which the check is drawn. The field is fixed by convention as follows:

External process control field, position 44 (optional)

This field is used only for items that are not required to be returned to the issuing institution. The character to use is controlled by the ANSI committee on banking standards.

Auxiliary on-us field, positions 45-65 (optional)

The arrangement of characters and symbols in the auxiliary on-us field is determined by the bank the checks are drawn on. The field usually contains the check serial number bracketed by on-us symbols. This field can be used only for checks longer than 152 mm (6 in.). The content of this field can begin in position 49.