The date, name of the payee and the check amount must appear on a personal check, according to About.com. A signature must also appear on a personal check. Completing the "Memo" field is optional, states U.S. News & World Report.
The complete date must appear on the check, including the day, month and year, advises U.S. News & World Report. It is permissible to either write out the date using words and numbers or to use only numbers. The payee's properly spelled name must appear in the "Pay to the order of" field. It may be necessary to ask the check recipient to whom to make out the check, notes About.com. It is not a good idea to make a check out to "Cash" because that permits anyone who has the check in his possession to cash it.
The amount of the check, written numerically, appears in the small box beside the "Pay to the order of" field, with the first digit as close as possible to the left side of the box, says About.com. This prevents someone from inserting another digit to the left of the number written in the box. On the next line, the check amount appears again, but it appears in words with fractions to designate the cents.
The "Memo" field, while optional, can include a few words that specify the purpose of the check, notes U.S. News & World Report. Sometimes the recipient requires an account number to appear in the "Memo" field. The last step is to sign the check on the line in the lower-right corner. The check is not valid without a signature.