A bank's routing number, or routing transit number, is the number that is used to identify the bank from which the funds noted on a check are to be withdrawn. The number provides the routing information for transferring the funds. While breaking down a routing number into its various parts can be somewhat challenging, locating and verifying a bank by routing number–or vice versa–is a fairly simple process that can be completed any number of ways.
Identify the routing number on a check. The routing number is located on the lower left portion of the check. There should be three series of numbers along the bottom of the check: the routing number, the check holder's account number, and the check number. The routing number is the first nine numbers on the bottom left of the check.
Consult the bank's website if you do not have a check to review. Bank routing numbers are not secret, so the bank should make its own routing number readily accessible. Search the bank's website, or type in the bank's name, address and "routing number" in a search engine to locate the correct routing number for that bank.
Utilize an online service to identify the bank or the routing number. Routingnumbers.org makes it possible to type in either the bank name or the routing number–if you have the number instead of the bank name–and retrieve the information that you want. Additionally, sites such as Federal Reserve Financial Services allow users to conduct extensive routing number searches, either by routing number or by bank location.
Call the bank directly to request the routing number. If you are calling a small local branch of a bank, you should be able to speak to someone directly about your request. If you are calling a large bank, however, the bank might require that you have an account number before connecting you to a bank employee.
If you try to search for the bank’s routing number in a search engine, be sure to include the address. Large banks (such as Wells Fargo or Bank of America) typically have separate routing numbers for different locations, so make sure you have the correct routing number for the identified location.