How to read a cheque

How To Read a Cheque

November 24, 2017

From time, you may need to read a cheque in order to give your banking information (like when you’re requesting to move to direct deposit). Here is a quick guide that breaks down what the numbers mean. We also provide a number of examples as cheque layouts can vary.

Before we get started with those, here are some helpful hints:

  • Transit / Branch numbers are always 5 digits

  • Bank / Financial Institution numbers are always 3 digits

  • Account numbers are always a minimum of 7 digits
    • If there is a designation number, include it as part of the account number.
    • Do not use spaces or dashes in the number.

  • To avoid entry errors, verify by reading it backwards to make sure that no numbers are out of order.


Example 1:

Example 2:

Example 3:

If you found this information useful and would like to print a copy for later reference, you can download the PDF:

Type Title Size Date/Time Modified Download

As always, if you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  If you have a smart phone, you can take a photo of your cheque, email it to and request assistance to set up a Direct Bank Deposit on your account.