The Memo Line is Printing Too Close to Routing and Account Information On Checks

Overview

On October 28, 2004, The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, also known as Check 21, went into effect. As a result of this legislation, financial institutions may begin exchanging digital images of your checks instead of sending the actual pieces of paper.

One area that may be affected is information that is added to preprinted checks when you print your checks. Anything other than the routing number, account number, and check number (known as the MICR number) that is printed within 5/8" of the bottom of your check may interfere with the digital equipment's ability to read the check accurately.

If you or your bank experience any problems with your checks, there is a solution: Move your Memo line up slightly, using the Align feature in your software. Depending on your printer type (page-oriented or continuous-feed), align your checks using the procedures outlined below:

Page-oriented printer check alignment:

Most page-oriented printers are commonly called "laser" or "ink-jet" printers. With this type of printer, consider printing sample checks on blank paper. After printing a page of sample checks, place this page on top of the real checks and hold them up to the light to see if the text aligns correctly. Printing on blank paper can help save checks.

  1. From the Quicken File menu, choose Printer Setup, and then choose For Printing Checks.
  2. In the Check Printer Setup window, verify that Page-oriented is selected.
  3. Verify that the correct style of checks is selected.
  4. Select the number of checks you are inserting.
  5. In the Fine Alignment window, click Print Sample. Quicken will print the sample check with a small alignment grid on it.
  6. Examine the alignment grid that was printed on the check. If the text is not within the alignment grid area, verify that your paper is feeding correctly through the printer.
  7. Enter your adjustments in the Vertical and Horizontal fields. Use the alignment grid on the test printout to measure how far to move the text. One square corresponds to 10 units on the screen. If you're not sure whether to increase or decrease the numbers, use the up/down and left/right arrows to note an increase or decrease in the numbers. If you need values greater than +25 or -25, make sure the paper is feeding correctly.
  8. Click Print Sample to test whether you have corrected the alignment problem.
  9. If your check printed and you are satisfied with the alignment, click OK. Quicken saves the horizontal and vertical alignment adjustments. You can now set alignments for any remaining cases or quit aligning by clicking OK.

Continuous-feed printer check alignment:

Most continuous-feed printers are commonly called "dot matrix" printers.

  1. From the Quicken File menu, choose Printer Setup, and then click For Printing Checks.
  2. Verify that Continuous is selected.
  3. Verify that the correct style of checks is selected.
  4. Click Align, and then click Coarse.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Use the Coarse Alignment feature to move the checks to the correct starting position in your printer. Quicken does not remember or change any settings from the Coarse Alignment process. This alignment helps you find the correct starting position for your checks when you load them in your printer.

    1. Without moving the check in the printer, look at the pointer line printed in the middle of the check and note the position number that the arrows point to.
    2. In the Pointer Line Position box, type the closest position number that the pointer line arrows point to on the printed check, and click OK. If necessary, Quicken advances the checks and prints another sample.
    3. Enter the new pointer line position number and click OK. If necessary, Quicken repeats these steps until the check is in the correct position. When the check is positioned correctly, you will see the Please Note Position window.
    4. Visually line up part of your printer, such as the sprocket cover or print head, with one of the position numbers at the edge of the check. Make a note of this spot on the printer. If you have a printer with an autoload or park feature, you will still need to go through the alignment process using a visual cue as described here. From now on, use this spot on the printer as an alignment cue to position your checks visually each time you insert them in your printer, so you won't have to test your check alignment again by printing more sample checks.

  7. If you would like to make additional adjustments, click Fine Align.

    1. In the Fine Alignment window, click Print Sample. Quicken prints the sample check with a small alignment grid on it.
    2. Examine the alignment grid Quicken printed on the check. If the text is not within the alignment grid area, check to be sure your paper is feeding correctly through your printer.
    3. Enter your adjustments in the Vertical and Horizontal fields. You can use the Printer Alignment window for changes of less than 0.25 inch. Slide the paper clamps on your printer for corrections greater than 0.25 inch.
    4. Click Print Sample to test whether you have corrected the alignment problem.
    5. If your check printed, and you are satisfied with the alignment, click OK. Quicken saves the horizontal and vertical alignment adjustments.

You are now ready to print checks.

Please note that if you use window envelopes with your checks, the adjusted Memo line may now be visible under the address. If you are having trouble using your envelopes with the adjusted memo line, please call us at (800) 556-0879.

For more information on Check 21 and what it means for your banking systems, please visit www.intuitmarket.com/check21.

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