It used to be that when you picked up the last booklet of checks, you had to turn the form in and order a new set. Whether from the bank or a magazine or a website, you had to confirm your information, including name, address, and telephone number, and hope that nothing changed before you reached the end of the next 200 checks.
But our do it yourself culture has finally extended to printing computer checks at home. The process has simplified significantly over the years as software and programs allow you to input the information and print out your checks on specially formatted paper. Printing your own checks not only gives you the freedom to print them as you need them but to update important information.
Getting started printing your own checks takes mostly basic equipment and perhaps a few other items that you do not have.
To avoid identity theft and banking confusion, you should use magnetic ink for the MICR line. The MICR line is the bottom line on your checks that allows automated processing. This line includes your routing number, your individual account number, and your check number. These numbers need to be magnetized so that a bank reader will read, validate, and automatically deposit or withdraw. They also help to prevent check fraud.
A preprinted account check is a check that has the MICR line already printed. You can find these online or order at office stores. You can also print the rest of the check in magnetized ink so long as the MICR line is magnetized. If you choose to use blank check paper, then you’ll need to purchase the magnetized ink.
Magnetized ink is available online and at office supply stores. It is more expensive than regular ink, but it can be used like regular ink. In some cases, depending on the brand you choose, you can refill your ink cartridges with magnetized to save a little money. Check out your brand’s website for more information.
Install the software
When you install the software, go through any tutorials they may have or read the manual. Make sure that you know the following:
Enter in the relevant information
When prompted, add relevant bank accounts and data. In most cases, you will only have to enter in one address, name, and bank account. But if you have other accounts that you are going to be using, then add them as well.
If the software saves addresses, payees, and other such information, then take the time to fill out information on some of your typical accounts. By taking this step when you have the time now, you make it easier to print checks at a time when you might have as much.
Add the following information if you are able:
Triple check everything
Even if you are positive that what you entered was perfectly correct, check it again and then check it once more.
Entering in the wrong number can create an enormous headache of financial difficulty. So take the time to check it now and make sure that everything is correct. You won’t regret checking it again, but you might regret not checking it at all.
Run a test page
Run a test page on your printer to make sure everything is functioning and look for the following:
Printing precisely is an essential step in printing your own checks. If your printer does not print well during your test run, then clean and recalibrate it, referring to your printer’s manual or website if necessary.
Now it’s time to print your checks.
You can either print fully prepared checks which include all of the necessary information or checks that will be filled in by hand. Choose to print and then check again to make sure that everything came out properly.
If the checks came out as they should, then prepare them for delivery. If they did not, then go back, void the checks in the system if possible, and correct the problem.
If the checks came out crooked so that not all of the information is clear, then realign and reprint. This is one of the most common issues with check printing and should be resolved immediately.
Continuous feed printer
Page oriented printer
You should now be on your way to conveniently printing personal or business computer checks right from your own home or business.