Bank Routing Numbers: What They Are and How To Find Them (2024)

Bank Routing Numbers: What They Are and How To Find Them (1)

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In today’s world of electronic banking, it’s common to need your specific bank’s ABA routing number, account number or check numbers for things like direct deposit forms or setting up a money transfer from one bank to another. It serves as an identifier that distinguishes a particular bank from all others. Large banks may have a different routing number for each state in which they have a branch, and some may even have routing numbers unique to specific transaction types.

Bank Routing Numbers: Quick Take

The American Bankers Association routing number, or ABA routing number, is a nine-digit code to identify U.S. federal- or state-chartered banks. This system was started in the U.S. in 1910. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Routing numbers identify the banks involved in any financial transaction. They’re essential because they enable the U.S. banking system to clear a financial transaction by matching up the appropriate financial institutions involved in the transaction, ensuring money is coming out of and going into the right banks.
  • Account numbers are required to complete transactions to ensure that money comes from the correct accounts.
  • Unlike banking information that’s more sensitive in nature, a routing transit number can be used for payment systems and doesn’t need to be kept private for security reasons, so it can easily be looked up through your bank’s website, mobile app or customer service.
  • Some banks have designated routing numbers for specific transaction types, such as wire transfers and ACH transactions.
  • Look-up tools often allow users to search by state and transaction type or display routing numbers for each transaction type. Those not sure which routing number to use should check with their bank.
  • American banks and credit unions use these numbers for the following transactions such as ACH transactions, such as direct deposit and online bill pay, wire transfers, setting up recurring automatic payments, transferring money between banks, processing checks an ordering checks online.

How Do I Find My Bank’s Routing Number?

While these numbers are often prominently placed on checks on the bottom left corner, they can also often be found on deposit slips. However, it’s not uncommon for people to have a checking account without paper checks or deposit slips. For those who only bank electronically, here are a few other ways to locate the information you need:

  • Search the bank’s website or contact the bank.
  • Check a bank statement.
  • Log in to the online banking platform or mobile banking app associated with the account.
  • Use the ABA’s Routing Number Lookup tool.
  • Perform a Google search using the bank’s name and the term “routing number” as the keyword. If you use this method, make sure you verify that the information is coming from a reliable source.

Large financial institutions often have different ones for each state. Some even have more than one for some types of transactions. Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America account holders can find state-specific routing numbers in the following tables.

Big Bank Routing Numbers in Each State

The numbers below are specifically routing numbers for electronic payments and paper transactions, such as ordering checks. Wire transfers require different routing numbers.

For example, Bank of America provides different routing numbers for each state whereas Chase provides unique routing numbers for every state except Hawaii and Alaska. Wells Fargo also has unique routing numbers for each of the states and territories of the United States.

StateBank of America Routing NumberChase Routing NumberWells Fargo Routing Number
District of Columbia054001204044000037054001220
Illinois (Northern)071000505071000013071101307
Illinois (Southern)081904808074000010074900275
New Hampshire011400495021202337021200025
New Jersey021200339044000037107002192
New Mexico107000327021000021026012881
New York011400495022300173053000219
North Carolina053000196072000326091300010
North Dakota051000017044000037041215537
Rhode Island011500010083000137053207766
South Carolina053904483072000326091400046
South Dakota051000017044000037064003768
West Virginia051000017051900366121042882

Wells Fargo Routing Numbers for Other US Territories

US TerritoryRouting Number
American Samoa121042882
North Mariana Islands121042882
Puerto Rico121042882
Virgin Islands121042882
American Forces Abroad121042882

Online Bank and Credit Union Check Routing Numbers

If you bank more with credit unions or online banks you will still need to know how to transfer money from your account. Below are a few examples of popular online bank and credit union routing numbers.

Financial institutionOnline Bank or Credit Union Routing number
Ally Bank124003116
Alliant Credit Union271081528
Charles Schwab Bank121202211
Discover Bank031100649
SoFi Bank031101334
Synchrony Bank021213591

What Is the Difference Between a Routing Number, Account Number and Check Number?

A bank routing number, account number and check number play different roles in banking transactions, but they all direct money to where it’s supposed to go.

The bottom line of any kind of check — personal or business — is preprinted with a sequence of numbers and symbols below the memo and signature lines. This sequence contains the following important information that the bank uses to process the check:

  • Routing number: The first nine-digit number in the sequence, starting from the left, is the routing number for the appropriate financial institution and transaction.
  • Account number: The next string of numbers is the account number. This number identifies the specific account associated with the issued check.
  • Check number: The last string of numbers is the check number. It’s used to determine which checks have been processed by the bank.

The Numbers You Need To Know on Your Checks

If you look at a bank-issued check, you’ll see a series of numbers printed along the bottom edge of the check. Here’s a quick explanation of what each of these numbers are and what they mean.

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Bank Routing Number

Banks use routing numbers to process several types of transactions, including paper and digital checks, direct deposits and bill payments. The routing number is like an address identifying the bank or financial institution and its location. It’s based on the state where you opened your account.

Bank Account Number

While your bank routing number identifies your financial institution and its location, your bank account number identifies your personal account at that institution. It tells the bank where to withdraw or deposit money when making transactions.

It’s the second set of numbers along the bottom of your check, directly following the routing number. It may be longer or shorter than the routing number. Most bank account numbers are between eight and 12 digits, although yours could be as long as 17 digits.

Check Number

To the right of the account number is the check number, which will be different on each check. You can also find the check number located at the top-right corner of the check. The check number is primarily for your own benefit, to help you balance your checkbook and keep track of your checks and spending.

Final Take To GO

Routing numbers are essential to the U.S. banking system to ensure money is moving out of and into the right banks for every transaction, whether it’s a bill payment, direct deposit or other transaction.

Since more banking transactions are carried out electronically, it’s common to need to find a routing number. When looking up a bank routing number, use a trusted source — such as the bank holding the account — to ensure you’re using the correct number. This will help avoid transaction delays or errors.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bank routing numbers.

  • Is Chase's routing number 021000021?
    • Chase uses routing number 021000021 for bank accounts opened in downstate New York. However, it's a good idea to confirm your routing number through Chase before using it to transfer money or make a payment.
  • What is the routing number in the U.S. banking system?
    • A routing number is a nine-digit code that identifies a U.S. federal or state-chartered bank. Routing numbers help banks, merchants and consumers ensure financial transactions are accurately attributed to the proper financial institution.
  • Is the routing number the same for all accounts at a bank?
    • No. Some banks use multiple routing numbers for different types of transactions, such as wire transfers and ACH transactions. It's smart to validate routing numbers before initiating money transfers or online bill payments.

Nicole Valentine, Virginia Anderson and Andrea Norriscontributed to the reporting for this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

Bank Routing Numbers: What They Are and How To Find Them (2024)
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