How to Print Checks Using MICR Toner

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Printing checks in-house rather than purchasing pre-printed checks may be a great way for businesses and individuals to cut costs on office supplies. Small businesses and individuals issuing many checks and bank deposits may find they can print their own checks at a fraction of the cost of buying new check books. Most standard printers are capable of being equipped to print MICR check lines, with the help of a few printer accessories.

Checklist of MICR Printer Add-Ons

Modern improvements in MICR check printing and printer technology have made it possible to print checks in nearly any standard printer brand and model. Large freestanding office printers and home office printer-scanner-copiers alike can be customized to print MICR line data. In order to do so, however, printers not primarily designed to print MICR toner need a few accessories. These add-ons include:

Check Printing Software

High Security Blank Check Paper

MICR Fonts (E-13B)

Compatible MICR Toner Cartridges

Check Printing Software

Most standard accounting software programs, such as Quickbooks and Lacerte, come equipped with check printing software. These bookkeeping software systems are often all the software which is necessary to be able to design, create and print checks. In situations where no other software program is being used, check printing software standalone applications are available specifically for MICR check printing. Check printing must be installed onto the computer from which check printing is being performed.

High Security Blank Check Paper

In order to be considered valid and processable by bank machines, checks must be printed on specialized blank check paper. Check paper backgrounds must contain certain security features, specifically endorsement by the American Banker’s Association (ABA), the same organization which wrote the standards on MICR printing. Other check paper security features may include watermarks, fluorescent fibers, copier void feature and rainbow prismatic features. Most office supply stores and online vendors sell blank check paper for check printing.

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MICR Fonts

The E-13B MICR Font system, which is the standard MICR font system used by US banks and worldwide, is a hardware add-on which must be installed in order for printers to print MICR check lines. This font package, which is standard, is sold by a number of specialized office supply stores and font/printer accessory online vendors.

MICR Toner Cartridges

MICR toner cartridges are made by both printer manufacturers and third-party, or aftermarket, ink toner manufacturers. LaserJet MICR cartridges can be bought for most common printer models, but they must be compatible with the specific printer model in order to accurately print MICR data. Quality standards vary widely between cartridge manufacturers, so it’s a good idea to research more about a MICR toner manufacturer to read their quality standards and testimonials before purchasing from them.

MICR cartridges may be installed in the same way standard ink toner cartridges are installed. Because MICR toner is generally more expensive than standard toner, and because MICR fonts require special installation, printers equipped to print MICR checks are used only for MICR printing.

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