When opening a bank account online or in-person, you may need to provide the bank, credit union, or financial institution with specific documentation or meet specific eligibility requirements. Certain types of accounts such as a child’s first savings account or a student checking account, may have age requirements or may require additional documents. It’s important to understand these requirements before you proceed to open your preferred bank account.
In addition to documents that verify your identity, age, or address, you may also need to provide a minimum initial deposit when opening a bank account. A minimum initial deposit is an amount of money required by the bank upfront when opening a checking account, savings account, or certificate of deposit.
What do I need to open a bank account?
There are a few documents you will need to open a bank account whether it is online or in-person. Banks and other financial institutions may have different requirements. If you are a U.S. citizen or non-U.S. citizen residing in the U.S., here’s a list of a few documents you may need to open your account. However, check with your financial institution to determine what documents you will need.
This could be a valid:
- Government issued photo ID or driver’s license
- Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Passport or Birth Certificate
Proof of Address:
It must show your name and address of your residence. This could be a current and valid:
- Lease document
- Mortgage document
- Utility bill, bank statement or credit card statement
- Student checking accounts may require proof of enrollment in an eligible school such as a student ID or acceptance letter.
- If the bank has a minimum opening deposit requirement, you may need to provide the deposit at the time of applying.
How to open a bank account
You may open a bank account through some of the following steps:
- Choose a bank: You may want to consider the features, benefits, perks, ATM locations, and types of accounts offered by your choice of bank as well as any applicable monthly service fees and other fees that may apply before opening your bank account.
- Confirm eligibility requirements: Confirm the bank or credit union’s eligibility and age requirements for opening a savings or checking account.
For example, you usually need to be at least 18 years old to open a checking account and some banks may require a parent or guardian to be part of the process of opening a student checking account. If you are applying for a child’s first savings account or student checking account some banks require both people to be present with their necessary documents.
- Choose the right accounts for you: Before the application process, you can usually specify what types of products you’d like, such as a checking account, savings account, or both. Read over the account materials and be sure to familiarize yourself with the account features.
- Start the application at your bank: Once you have chosen a bank or credit union, and the type of account, visit their local branch or online site to learn more about their application process and to access their application.