Specifications and Guidelines

APCA sets standards and specifications to ensure the quality of cheque printing. This section provides information on these standards and specifications including technical specifications and guidelines to help designers, printers and businesses when producing custom designed cheques.

  • Design Specifications for Cheques - Download PDF
    Information on the design and layout requirements for custom designed cheques and deposit forms.
  • MICR Technical Specifications - Download PDF
    A technical publication providing specifications for MICR documents, codeline field layout and printed characters.

MICR Technical Specifications


This document is currently being updated to reflect changes to the reduction in minimum depth size for Australian MICR Forms from 70mm to 64mm and to confirm the standard tolerance level of ±003” for MICR visual check measurements. New version will be available soon.

To view the current document, click here

  • Guidelines for Specially Printed Cheques - Download PDF
    An overview of the requirements for purchasing and printing custom designed cheques.
  • Guidelines for Issuing MICR Encoded Cheques - Download PDF
    Practical information for companies looking to issue MICR encoded cheques using their own computer software and MICR enabled printer.
  • Guidelines for Preventing Cheque Fraud - Download PDF
    General information and tips for businesses on how to improve internal controls so as to prevent cheque fraud.
  • Registers for MICR Printing Systems - Download PDF
    A list of MICR printing systems that have met the requirements set out in the "MICR Technical Specifications."
  • Register for Paper - Download PDF
    A list of paper that has met the requirements set out in the "MICR Technical Specifications."
  • Printer ID Registration - Download PDF 
    A registration form for printers that have not been issued with a Printer ID.
  • Cheque Fact Sheet - Download PDF 
    General information about how cheques are processed including the steps in the clearing cycle.