Finding your bank’s routing number should be easy.
That isn’t always the case.
I was attempting to make an estimated tax payment the other day, and as part of the process I had to enter the routing number and bank account number for my bank.
I’ve done this in the past, and usually I just search my bank’s website for the information.
This time, however, they had removed that FAQ page, or were in the process of updating their site – so the routing number was nowhere to be found.
I was able to find what I thought were routing numbers elsewhere, but after double checking them they weren’t matching up with other sites.
In the end I found the correct routing number elsewhere on my bank’s site, but it really shouldn’t be that hard.
So today I decided to take a deeper look at the ABA bank routing transit number. What are they, why are they important, and where can I find them when I need them?
What Is A Bank Routing Transit Number (RTN Number)?
The American Banking Association routing transit number or ABA RTN, the nine-digit code found on your checks, was first developed over 100 years ago. From Wikipedia:
An ABA routing transit number (ABA RTN) is a nine-digit code, used in the United States, which appears on the bottom of negotiable instruments such as checks to identify the financial institution on which it was drawn. The ABA RTN was originally designed to facilitate the sorting, bundling, and shipment of paper checks back to the drawer’s (check writer’s) account. As new payment methods were developed (ACH and Wire), the system was expanded to accommodate these payment methods.
The ABA RTN is necessary for the Federal Reserve Banks to process Fedwire funds transfers, and by the ACH Network to process direct deposits, bill payments, and other such automated transfers. The ABA RTN system was developed in 1910 by the American Bankers Association.
The RTN number was developed in 1910, and has been in use ever since.
So who is eligible to get an ABA Routing Number?
An ABA Routing Number will only be issued to a Federal or State chartered financial institution which is eligible to maintain an account at a Federal Reserve Bank.
The Official ABA Registrar of Routing Numbers, Accuity, is responsible for the assignment of routing numbers in accordance with the Routing Number Administrative Board Routing Number Policy. Accuity has served as the ABA’s Official Registrar since 1911. A newly organized financial institution must complete and submit an application to Accuity to be assigned its ABA Routing Number.
So RTN numbers are assigned to member banking institutions by Accuity, the official registrar of the ABA, after they submit an application. That number helps facilitate any number of financial transactions from writing a check, wire transfers and ACH transactions.
According to the ABA there are currently about 28,000 active RTN numbers.
What Do The Numbers In The Bank Routing Number Mean?
So what do the digits of the routing number actually mean? The numbers reflect a bank’s geographic location and internal handling information used by the Federal Reserve.
The first two digits of the routing number correspond to the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, so whatever region your particular bank is in will be represented by these two digits.
The third digit corresponds to the Federal Reserve check processing center that was originally assigned to the bank, although these days processing is now centralized at the Atlanta Fed.
The fourth digit tells you if the bank is located in the Federal Reserve city proper with a 0, or 1-9 according to which state in the Federal Reserve district it’s in.
The fifth through eighth digits correspond to the bank’s unique ABA identity within it’s Fed district.
The ninth digit provides a check digit for a checksum test to verify the number is a valid one.
An Example ABA Routing Transit Number
By way of example, here’s how one of my bank’s 9 digit routing numbers would break down:
TCF Bank Routing Number – 291070001
- 29 (Minneapolis Federal Reserve District, Credit Union or Savings Bank)
- 1 (Bank check processing center #1)
- 0 (In Federal Reserve city of Minneapolis proper)
- 7000 (Bank ID number)
- 1 (Check digit)
How does the check digit work? You take the 9 digit routing number, and apply a checksum algorithm called “modules 10” against it, which requires you perform a calculation on the routing number.
You take the 1st, 4th and 7th digit and multiply them by 3. You take the 2nd, 5th and 8th digit and multiply them by 7. Then you take the 3rd, 6th and 9th digits and multiply them by 1. Then you add all the resulting numbers. The total should be easily divisible by 10 with no remainder. If it is, it is a valid routing number.
So for our number 291070001, here is what the calculation looks like:
(2x3)+(9x7)+(1x1)+(0x3)+(7x7)+(0x1)+(0x3)+(0x7)+(1x1) = 120
120 is easily divisible by 10 and has no remainder, so it is a valid routing transit number.
So there is some reasoning behind these routing numbers, it makes some sense when you dig into it.
How To Find Your Bank’s Routing Number
So now that we knew the reasoning behind the bank routing number, and what the number means, how do you find your bank’s routing number?
There are several places you can go to find your RTN.
Find Routing Number On Check
Probably the easiest place to find your bank’s routing number is to look at your paper checks.
The check will typically have the 9 digit routing number down on the bottom left of the check. It will be in a sequence of three numbers printed in MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) form.
The first number in MICR sequence below is the routing number. The second is the account number. The third is the check number.
The account number isn’t always listed first, but you always know that it’s going to be 9 digits, and that it shows at the bottom between two symbols that look like this:
Find that symbol, and you’ll see the routing number in-between.
Find Routing Number On Bank’s Website
The next best place to find your routing number is on the website for your bank. The routing number isn’t secret information, it’s public information that the bank will put on their website.
The problem is that it isn’t always placed out front where it’s easy to find.
Your best bet is to go to your bank’s FAQ page, or to just do a search for “Bank Name + routing number” on Google, and you should be able to find the correct RTN to use.
Find Routing Number By Calling Your Bank
You can also find your bank’s routing number just by calling your bank’s customer service line.
If you’re not able to find the routing number on your bank’s site, the customer service reps should have that information handy as I’m sure it’s something that customers ask for quite often. We have the customer service numbers for the top 10 US Banks down below for your reference.
Routing Numbers For Top 10 United States Banks
The routing numbers for all of the top banks are out there on the web, but if you’ve ever done a search you know that sometimes the information can be scattered around, and not always consistent. So in this article I just want to bring together some of the routing numbers for the top 10 or so banks in the United States.
The numbers below are organized by region or state. Where applicable we’ll also try to give you a customer service number for each bank in case you want to call and verify the routing number.
Wells Fargo Routing Numbers
Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco where it was formed back in the Gold Rush days. In terms of market capitalization Wells Fargo is the biggest bank in the world and has the oldest continuously operating bank charter in the U.S.
They also pay the largest sum of corporate taxes of any US company each year.
- Wells Fargo Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-800-869-3557
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for Wells Fargo:
U.S. Bank Routing Numbers
U.S. Bancorp is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is among the largest banks in the United States. The company has 3,106 branches and 4,842 ATMs, primarily in the Midwestern United States, and has approximately 72,400 employees.
U.S. Bancorp operates under the second-oldest continuous national charter after Wells Fargo.
- US Bank Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-800-872-2657
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for US Bank:
Chase Bank Routing Numbers
JP Morgan Chase Bank is the largest bank in the United States, and the 6th largest in the world, according to the Federal Reserve. They hold close to $2 trillion in worldwide assets, and are the result of the 2000 merger of two much older banks, JP Morgan and Company, and Chase Manhattan Corporation. Retail and commercial banking services are provided under the Chase name.
- Chase Bank Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-800-935-9935
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for JP Morgan Chase Bank:
Bank of America Routing Numbers
Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I had the chance to visit with them there when I attended FinCon in Charlotte. The company started in the early 1900s serving immigrants in San Francisco. Strangely enough at the time it was called the Bank of Italy.
Bank of America has about 50 million retail banking customers, and due to the fact that they own Merril Lynch, they’re also the world’s largest wealth management firm.
- Bank of America Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-800-432-1000
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for Bank of America:
Citibank Routing Numbers
Citibank, which used to be known as “City Bank of New York, is a pioneer when it comes to credit cards and ATM machines, and was the first U.S bank to open a banking office overseas after expanding to Argentina in 1914.
- Citibank Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-800-374-9700
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for Citibank:
PNC Bank Routing Numbers
PNG is mainly a regional banking institution, based in Pittsburgh, and mostly found on the east coast. It has branches in nineteen states as well as Washington D.C. with 52,906 employees, 2,459 branches and 9,051 ATMs.
The initials PNC come from the two original Pennsylvania banks that merged to form PNC, Pittsburgh National Corporation and Providence National Corporation.
- PNC Bank Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-888-762-2265
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for PNC Bank:
Bank of New York Mellon Routing Numbers
The Bank of New York was founded in the late 1700s by the first Secretary of the Treasury and namesake to a current hit play, Alexander Hamilton.
The bank merged with T. Mellon and Sons, a Pittsburgh institution that financed steel and fuel industries. Due to it’s long history BNY Mellon is the oldest banking corporation in the country.
- Customer service phone number: 1-412-236-3338
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for BNY Mellon:
Morgan Stanley Routing Numbers
Morgan Stanley is a multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in Manhattan, New York City. It has offices in 42 countries, and has more than 55,000 employees. It was founded in 1935.
- Customer service phone number: 1-888-454-3965
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for Morgan Stanley:
Capital One Routing Numbers
Capital One is mainly a retail banking company, offering credit cards, auto loans, home loans, and checking and savings accounts.
Full disclosure, I am a happy long time customer with a Capital One 360 savings account, and have written about them on this site.
- Capital One Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-877-383-4802
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for Capital One:
TD Bank Routing Numbers
TD Bank (Toronto-Dominion Bank) is actually a Canadian company, with headquarters in Toronto, Canada. The company has over 22 million clients worldwide, mostly in the U.S. and Canada.
- TD Bank Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-888-751-9000
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for TD Bank:
TCF Bank Routing Numbers
TCF Bank is my main local checking account that I’ve had for the better part of a decade now. As of November 2017, TCF Bank had nearly 321 branches in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona and South Dakota.
On January 28, 2019, Chemical Bank of Detroit announced it would merge with TCF. The new corporation will retain the TCF name, but be headquartered in the tower Chemical is constructing in Detroit. It will maintain large operating centers in Minneapolis and Midland, Michigan.
- TCF Bank Routing Number Help
- Customer service phone number: 1-800-823-2265
Here is a listing of bank routing numbers for TCF Bank:
Finding Your Bank Routing Transit Numbers Shouldn’t Be Hard
Hopefully this article has been helpful and helped you to find your bank’s routing number.
We weren’t able to include more banks because as mentioned above there are over 28,000 active American Banking Association routing transit numbers, and we didn’t want this article to be prohibitively long. But if you’re having a hard time finding a particular routing number, leave a comment and let us know. We’ll see if we can help track it down.