What is Magnetic Ink Character Recognition:
- What type of printer is required for MICR?
What is MICR?
What is MICR Toner?
- Is MICR toner required?
MICR, called "em eye cee
are", "Mick-er", and "Miker" by some, is short for
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition.
A special font called MICR E13B is the
standard used on the bottom line of all checks and drafts
processed in the U.S.A.
The MICR line shown above contains the
routing number, the
account number and the check number. On a check, this font
is printed with ink that contains special magnetic properties
that can be read by inexpensive readers at retail locations,
banks and processing facilities.
this check real?
this check good?
The easily recognizable MICR font can be
read by optical scanners, as well as magnetic scanners.
The benefit of magnetic ink is that it can still be read if
there is overprint on the MICR line, and it protects against
fraud, because access to magnetic ink or magnetic toner is
Under Federal Reserve and ABA regulations, all checks must
contain magnetic ink in the MICR line of the check. Checks
are defined are original items, produced by the account holder,
signed and presented to the merchant.
There are no regulations that require a draft to contain
magnetic toner in the MICR line, although when optical
readers are not available, magnetic toner may be needed to avoid
How do you know if you need magnetic toner? First ask yourself,
are you printing a check? A check is an item drawn from
your own account or where you are the authorized signer on the
business account and you are signing the original item yourself.
If you are printing a check, you MUST use the
If you are printing a
check draft, which is where the merchant
prepares a copy of the account holder's check with no signature
required, you may not need MICR ink or toner. OCR software
used on your for deposit only check draft may eliminate the need
to use magnetic ink or MICR toner.
Who will I ask about the need for MICR
If you are printing checks, there is no need ask anyone -
the answer is simple - Yes, you need to use the MICR E13B font,
properly aligned, and you need to use MICR toner.
If you are printing drafts, most
institutions will tell you you if asked, that you must use MICR
toner to print and deposit drafts. This is not always true,
although banks will always tell you otherwise, as is their
Because banking regulations do not require the use of MICR toner
for check drafts, the depositor can opt not to use special
magnetic toner. If their bank has already requested use of
special ink, they would be unlikely to reverse their decision.
If you begin depositing drafts without MICR toner, but otherwise
printed to specification, all banks will invariably clear the
items, and will process them like a regular check.
software will allow you create
check drafts, also known as
demand drafts and prints a properly formatted MICR code line
every time. Because CheckWriter complies with all
regulations, and standards, any business can use the software to
checks by phone,
checks by fax or checks online without the
concerns of formatting, or learning complex rules or guidelines.
When printing check drafts, MICR toner is considered optional.
Checks by phone:
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