Routing numbers vs. SWIFT codes (DE to USA) - Germany

Which to use on pension refund forms


jml
Hello TT,

I'm filing for my pension refund from the German government and have hit a brick wall. Unfortunately, my German is not good enough to navigate the pension office by phone.
The forms ask for an 8 digit routing number and a 1 digit check code. The problem is the US routing number is 9 digits, we do have an 8 digit swift code; however, people on the US banking side have said that the swift code is purely optional. They've never heard of a "check digit". I called Deutsche Bank and they said, "if the form asks for the routing number, then you should give the routing number, but you should include the swift code as well." The person I spoke with didn't know what the check digit was/is either but he was fairly eager to get off the phone.

Normally I would say to hell with it and put a note with both the routing number and the swift code but I got the sense during my visit to the pension office a few years ago that there's very little tolerance for errors or oversights on claim forms.

So the question for TT is...any advice on whats the proper way to fill out this form, and also what the heck is a check digit?

Thanks in advance for any help. Witty and/or amusing commentary also appreciated.

jml
Kay
No idea what a check digit might be, just bumping your thread in the hope that somebody will be able to give you proper advice on filling out the form. Cheers!
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