In the past, it was easy to find bank account and routing numbers. This information was almost always contained on the bottom margin of the checks issued for the account in question. The unique account number for each account would be clearly denoted on the right side of check face while the routing number for the bank itself would appear to its left. Since each individual bank was given its own routing number, curious customers could simply compare two different personal checks from the same institution to confirm that they had the correct routing number.
While this basic system remains in place, it has been complicated by the digitization of the banking industry. If you're like most people, you're liable to perform most routine banking tasks online. To access your accounts, you simply log in to your bank's secure website and enter some security information. You only need to visit a branch to perform complex transactions, withdraw or deposit large sums of money, or speak to a loan officer about obtaining a new credit facility.
As a result of this struggle to preserve the trust of their customers, banks rarely display full account or routing numbers online. When you view your account information online, your account number will be partially hidden by a series of crosses or asterisks. Your routing number likely won't be found anywhere on your account homepage. Although this arrangement can be frustrating, it's important to remember that it's in place for your protection.
If you still use personal checks, you'll have no trouble finding your account and routing numbers on them. If you no longer have a checkbook, you'll need to do some digging to find these bits of information.
Most American banks' routing numbers are available online at routingnumbers.org. This nonprofit site allows you to find your routing number by entering the name of your bank. If you prefer, you can browse banks by location as well. To obtain your account number, you may need to call or visit your bank and answer some security questions.