MICR Fonts. Your checks must be printed using a set of MICR fonts that meet ANSI and ABA (X9.27-1995) banking standards. Not all MICR fonts are the same. Many don't meet these standards! Other MICR fonts have internal character positioning errors that cause check rejections when certain numbers are paired together. Some MICR fonts assume your printer and computer system do not need calibration. What you actually need is a set of MICR fonts that meet both ANSI and ABA standards and that let you calibrate your entire printing system to adjust for any spacing discrepancies.
Laser Printers. While there are some special MICR printers that use ribbons, most firms don't have access to one of them. So you must use a laser printer to print MICR encoded checks. Why do you have to have a laser printer? MICR encoding must be printed with a special magnetic "ink". (This is a legal requirement required by the Check 21 Act.) This special magnetic "ink" is only available for laser printers. You must purchase special laser printer toner cartridges that contain the proper level of magnetic particles. The standard toner cartridges that come with your laser printer will not work.
So how do you select a laser printer for MICR encoding? First, locate firms that make magnetic toner cartridges. See what printers match their toner cartridges. Then select a printer that matches the available toner cartridges. In general, HP and Lexmark are good choice. Others may work as well.
InkJet Printers. Despite decades of work, there has never been an inkjet printer that can correctly print MICR encoding. No one has yet developed a magnetic ink that works according to MICR standards. Inkjet printers can not print MICR!
Magnetic Toner. The MICR line on checks must be printed using magnetic toner. This special toner is only available for laser printers (and some special dot matrix printers.) In general, your printer manufacturer will not sell this special toner. (The market for it is too small.) So you must locate a firm that specializes in magnetic toner for your laser printer. For quality toner suppliers visit MICRpro.