Brochure: What Is MICR?Source: Source Technologies, LLC
MICR is an acronym for magnetic ink character recognition; it refers to the formulation of toner used to print the specialized font at the bottom of checks and other negotiable documents.
As a check travels through the check clearing system, it passes through reader/sorters. As it passes through the reader/sorter, the machine sends a magnetic charge to the check, which allows the machine to read the information contained within the MICR line very quickly...checks can pass through a reader/sorter at a speed of 20mph! The Federal Reserve and all banks require that checks be printed with MICR toner for ease of processing. If a check or other negotiable document is printed with regular (non-MICR) toner, the reader/sorter will reject the check. This forces a manual process for clearing the check. To cover the costs of manual processing, the company that printed the check is charged a fee per item rejected. For this reason it is important for all companies that issue checks to print them with MICR toner.