If you’ve ever needed to wire money to someone–a vendor or customer, perhaps–and you needed a bank routing number, most instructions on finding that number refer to a line of numbers “printed on a check” (see example below). In an era when “printed on a check” is moving more-and-more to buggy-whip status, the American Bankers Association (ABA) decided it was time to create an official lookup tool to find bank routing numbers online. (Another handy feature: If you know the routing number but need the bank name and address, it will do a reverse lookup.)

(This refers only to the bank’s routing number. To wire money to an individual or business, you will still need the recipient’s checking account number.)

The browser-based search tool (RoutingNumber.ABA.Com) enables users to find bank routing numbers for all U.S. financial institutions eligible to maintain a Federal Reserve Account. First time users must agree to the ABA’s terms of use before using the search engine.

Paper Check Routing Number Lookup Tool

routing number on a check

 ABA’s New Official Online Routing Number Lookup Tool

lookup tool

Facts about Bank Routing Numbers

  • The ABA created bank routing numbers in 1905.
  • Bank routing numbers are used for check processing, electronic funds transfer and online banking.
  • Routing numbers are the first nine digits located in the bottom left corner on the front of a check (if you can recall what a check is).
  • Routing numbers are only issued to federal and state chartered financial institutions that are eligible to maintain an account at a Federal Reserve Bank.