How to Write a Check

Sample Check

  1. Date check in the top right-hand corner write out month, day, year, i.e. March 5, 2022
  2. Pay to the Order of – The person or company you are paying. (Department of Homeland Security) Spell out the name; do not abbreviate.
  3. Write the dollar amount numerically (for example $410.00) in the small box on the right. Be sure to write this clearly so the bank can accurately subtract this amount from your account.
  4. On the line below “Pay to the order of,” write out the dollar amount in words to match the numerical dollar amount you wrote in the box. For example, if you are paying $410.00, you will write “four hundred ten and 00/100.” To write a check with cents, be sure to put the cents amount over 100. If the dollar amount is a round number, still include “and 00/100” for additional clarity. Writing the dollar amount in words is important for a bank to process a check as it confirms the correct payment total.
  5. Sign your name on the line at the bottom right-hand corner using the signature you used when you opened the checking account. This shows the bank that you agree that you are paying the stated amount and to the correct payee.
  6. In the lower left-hand corner, “For” or “Memo” line, write what the check is for. If applying for OPT, please write “USCIS I-765 Fee”
Special Considerations
  • Make sure an address is written on the top left side of the check. If the address is not pre-printed on the check, you should write it in yourself.
  • Your check will be read by an OCR (optical character reader) scanner, not by a person. The algorithms may reject your check if it is not written EXACTLY as above and your OPT application may be returned to you for non-payment.