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Published October 27, 2022

What Is a Bank Transit Number?

Bank transit numbers identify the branch where you opened your account. Canadian bank transit numbers are five digits long.

When setting up online deposits or automatic withdrawals from your bank account, you will be required to submit a series of numbers linked to the account. These numbers include your account number but also your bank transit number.

You’ll also need these numbers for bank transactions such as sending or receiving a wire transfer or automatic payments from your bank account.

What is a bank transit number and how is it used? 

A bank transit number is a unique five-digit number used to identify the bank branch at which you opened your account in Canada. This number, found at the bottom of a cheque, also helps to identify your specific bank account. 

Your bank transit number combined with your three-digit institution number forms the eight-digit routing number for your account. You’ll need these numbers if you set up any direct deposits or automatic withdrawals from your bank account.

How to find a bank transit number

To read a bank transit number on a cheque, look at the bottom of the cheque for a row of different numbers.

  • The first number, from left to right, is the cheque number.
  • The second number, which is five digits, will be your bank transit number.
  • There might be a dash right after the transit number followed by three numbers. Those three numbers are your financial institution number

Again, your transit number and institution number make up your routing number. But for the transit number alone, you just need those first five digits. 

You can also search online for your transit number. If you’re trying to differentiate your bank transit number from your routing number, use only five of the eight digits. For electronic transactions, the routing number is the last five digits. 

To give you an example, if YYYYY indicates the transit number and XXX is the institution number then here’s how the numbers will appear: 

  • YYYYY-XXX on a paper transaction transit number. 
  • 0XXXYYYYY on an electronic transactions routing number.

Other ways to find a bank transit number

A cheque is the easiest way to find your bank transit number, but there are other methods as well. Financial documents, such as bank statements for the account may list the transit number. 

Since each branch has its own unique transit number, you contact your bank or the local branch where you opened your bank account and ask them to verify the transit number for your account. 

Be sure to double-check the information you get because a wrong transit number can cause problems for any direct deposits or automatic withdrawals that you may be trying to set up.

About the Author

Hannah Logan

Hannah Logan is a writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance and travel. You can follow her personal travel blog or find her on Instagram @hannahlogan21.

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