How to Print a Check on Printing Paper
By Alan Sembera
Many people print their own checks to save on costs or customize the appearance of their checks. Some check printing software requires the purchase of blank check forms, but many programs will print to blank printer paper. You also can buy blank check stock paper that has security features such as watermarks, graduated colors and microprinting. The check stock paper has the advantage of being perforated so you can more easily separate checks from the page after printing.
Install and run a check-printing software program on your computer.
Enter the checking account holder's name, address and telephone number into the program.
Enter the name and address of the bank where the checking account is located.
Enter the bank routing number, the checking account number and any check numbers you would like to print on the checks.
Select any images or background designs you want to appear on the checks. Most check printing programs have a variety of designs and pictures to choose from. Try to select a design that will make your checks more difficult to alter.
Enter the dollar amount, the payee's name and the date if you are printing a specific check. Otherwise leave this information blank.
Insert paper into a printer. Most check printing programs require a laser printer and a resolution of 600 dpi or higher. A laser printer can handle the MICR or E13-B fonts required by federal law to used on the codes at the bottom of the check. The high resolution is required for optical readers to properly scan the checks.
Print your checks and inspect them for accuracy.
Use the scissors or paper cutter to cut the checks apart if you are using regular printer paper.
- Many banks and retailers use check reading equipment that will not be able to read the codes on the bottom of your check unless you use magnetic ink. The magnetic ink, also called MICR ink, is available for many printer models. Using magnetic ink for printing your checks may help you avoid delays in the processing of your checks.
- Check with your bank to see if it has policies regarding self-printed checks. Some banks may not allow account holders to print checks unless they use check stock paper.
Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.