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How to Find Your BMO Routing Number in Canada 


Fact Checked

Routing numbers are used to process both cheques and electronic transactions within banks in Canada. They’re created by combining your transit number and financial institution number, making it easier to identify the individual branches of banks. 

This article reviews what routing numbers are in detail and how you can find them online or on a cheque.

Key Takeaways

  • The 9-digit routing number in BMO accurately directs financial transactions to their intended banking destinations.
  • You can find BMO routing numbers through online banking or by combining the transit number and institution number on a cheque in the required routing number format. 

What Is A Routing Number?

A routing number is a banking code used by financial institutions to distinguish their individual branches. It is composed of a five-digit transit number, which indicates the specific branch where you opened your bank account, and a three-digit institution number that identifies your bank.

Routing numbers are written in two different formats based on whether your transaction is made electronically or offline. 

Here’s a table that shows the two distinct formats of routing numbers, where XXX is the placeholder for the institution number, and YYYYY represents the transit number. 

Type Of Transaction Routing Number Format
Electronic Transactions 0XXXYYYYY
Paper TransactionsYYYYY-XXX

What Are Routing Numbers Used For? 

Routing numbers are crucial for ensuring that the funds transferred between transactions are accurately directed to the intended branch of a financial institution. 

For electronic transactions, routing numbers ensure that transfers are automatically directed to the right account. For paper transactions like cheque processing, on the other hand, the routing number makes the verification and fulfillment of transactions more efficient. 

How To Find A BMO Routing Number Online

There are multiple ways to find a BMO routing number online. The easiest method is to log in to your online banking account and find your routing number on the “My Accounts” page. 

Alternatively, you can visit Payments Canada’s online branch directory, as it has a detailed list of the routing numbers of major Canadian financial institutions.

How To Find A BMO Routing Number On A Cheque

While you can’t directly find BMO routing numbers on a cheque, you can use the numbers written on it to determine your routing number. First, remember that the BMO institution number is 001. Then, simply locate the transit number on the cheque.

Transit numbers are 5 digits long, and they’re the 2nd set of numbers located from the bottom left corner of a cheque. You’ll find your transit number on the left side of BMO’s 001 institution number, so it should be easy to find.

Once you know your transit number and the BMO institution number, simply refer to the table above to know the format in which your routing number should be presented. 

bmo cheque
BMO cheque sample

How To Find Your BMO Account Number

You can find your BMO account number through online banking or at the bottom of your check, on the right side of the institution number. Bank account numbers start with “00” and are followed by a 9-digit number.


Is a routing number the same as a SWIFT code in Canada? 

A SWIFT code and a routing number serve similar purposes of ensuring that transactions are fulfilled accurately. However, they’re not the same as SWIFT codes are for international transactions, while routing numbers are commonly used for domestic transfers in Canada. Both numbers can be used together. 

What is the format of a routing number in Canada? 

The format of a routing number in Canada differs between offline and online transactions. For paper documents, the routing number is written as YYYYY-XXX, where YYYYY represents the transit number, and XXX is the institution number. For electronic transfers, on the other hand, the code is written as 0XXXYYYYY. 

Is the routing number the same as the transit number? 

No, they’re different from each other. The transit number shows which branch you opened your bank account at, and it’s used alongside the institution number to make your routing number.

Is the ABA routing number used in Canada? 

No, the American Bankers Association (ABA) routing number is not used in Canada. As the name suggests, it’s only used to identify financial institutions within the U.S. banking system.


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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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1 thought on “How to Find Your BMO Routing Number in Canada ”

  1. Gravatar for Brian Billy

    I am in Canada with Canadian accounts & 1 U.S.Dollar account all with BMO.
    I am trying to Receive an international (outside of USA) money wire transfer into my U.S.Dollar account – using USD funds.
    –>> What are the Symbols / Letters required on the Routing Number for the sender before the 001 ?
    I am expecting $ 20,000 to 50,000 USD
    What is the Best , most effective way to do this ?

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