Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

What do I need to open a bank account in Canada?

Have your information handy to make the application process run smoothly.

Requirements for opening a bank account in Canada vary from bank to bank, but you’ll generally need to provide your personal information and verify your identity. Learn more in our guide below about the documents you need to open a bank account.

Eligibility criteria

Before you apply for a bank account, you’ll need to make sure that you meet any eligibility criteria that apply. These criteria vary depending on the type of account you would like to open as well as the bank or provider, but usually include:

  • Age requirements. In most cases you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age to open an account by yourself, although parents or legal guardians can open bank accounts for their kids. Different age limits can apply to special accounts, such as a kids or seniors account.
  • Residency requirements. You’ll typically need to be a Canadian resident to open an account, but in some cases it is possible to open an account from overseas. Here’s how you can open a bank account in Canada without proof of address.

Other criteria may apply, so check the terms and conditions before beginning an application.

What you need to open a bank account online in Canada today

View the basic eligibility requirements for popular chequing and savings accounts in the table below so you know the basics of what you need to open a bank account in Canada.

BankEligibility requirementsCan open an account online?Popular account option
BMO

  • Must be 18 or older (or the age of majority), have a SIN and a Canadian address. To qualify for the NewStart Program, you must be a permanent resident or foreign worker who arrived in Canada within the last five years.
Bank account opening online check markBMO Performance Chequing Account
Simplii

  • Canadian resident (excluding Quebec)
  • At least 18 years of age, or the age of the majority in your province or territory (12 for the teen account)
Bank account opening online check markSimplii No Fee Chequing Account
EQ Bank

  • Canadian resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
Bank account opening online check markEQ Bank Personal Account
Coast Capital
  • Canadian resident
  • At least 19 years of age
Bank account opening online check markCoast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account
Tangerine

  • Canadian resident
  • At least 12 years of age
Bank account opening online check markTangerine GIC
Scotiabank
  • At least 16 years old
    Canadian resident or you're here to work or study
    Not opening this account on behalf of someone else
    Ok with paperless document delivery
Bank account opening online check markScotiabank Preferred Package
KOHO
  • Canadian resident
  • At least 18 years of age, or the age of the majority in your province or territory
Bank account opening online check markKOHO Earn Interest
Neo

  • Canadian citizen or resident
  • At least 18 years of age, or the age of the majority in your province or territory
Bank account opening online check markNeo Money Account
RBC Bank

  • Canadian or US resident with a SIN or SSN
  • At least 18 years of age, or the age of the majority in your province or territory
Bank account opening online check markRBC Signature No Limit Banking Account
National Bank

  • Canadian resident
  • At least 14 years of age
Bank account opening online check markNational Bank Connected Account
TD Canada Trust

  • Canadian resident with a SIN
  • At least 18 years of age, or the age of the majority in your province or territory
Bank account opening online check markTD Unlimited Chequing Account
CIBC

  • Canadian resident
  • Age of majority in your province or territory or be age 25 and up (depending on the CIBC Smart program you opt for)
Bank account opening online check markCIBC Smart Account

What information do I need to open a bank account?

If you’re an existing customer with a bank, they’ll have your personal information on file and you likely won’t need to supply any extra details unless you’re setting up a business or kids account. However, if you’ve never held an account with that particular bank before, the information you’ll need handy to open a bank account will include:

  • Personal details. This can include your gender, full name, date of birth and residential address.
  • Contact details. The bank will require your phone number and email address.

Acceptable identification

The government of Canada set out the following lists as to what qualifies as acceptable personal identification. If you’re opening a joint account, you’ll need to provide the following information for all account holders. You can also learn here how to open a bank account with no photo ID.

You’ll need two pieces of ID, either both from list A or one from list A and one from list B:

List A:

  • valid Canadian driver’s licence (as permitted by provincial law)
  • current Canadian passport
  • birth certificate issued in Canada
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card issued by the Government of Canada
  • Old Age Security card issued by the Government of Canada
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • provincial or territorial health insurance card that can be used as ID under provincial or territorial law
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident card or an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, or IMM 5292

List B:

  • employee ID card with your picture on it that has been issued by an employer well known in your area
  • debit card or bank card with your name and signature on it
  • Canadian credit card with your name and signature on it
  • client card from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with your picture and signature on it
    current foreign passport
  • have someone in good standing with the financial institution or in the community confirm your identity

Additional information

Depending on the type of account you open, there may also be circumstances where you need to supply some additional information. These include:

  • Kids bank accounts. If you’re opening a bank account for a child or a teen bank account, you’ll need to provide their birth certificate.
  • Student accounts. If you’re applying for a student bank account, you may need to provide a student ID, .edu email address or proof of enrollment at your school.
  • Overseas accounts. If you’re currently based overseas and are about to move to Canada and need to open a newcomer’s bank account, you may need to provide passport and visa details, as well as your expected arrival date and city.
  • Linked accounts. If you’re opening a linked account, you’ll need your current account number. Some banks require you to have a linked checking account when you open a high-interest savings account.

What if I’m opening a business bank account?

Application requirements are a little different if you’re applying to open a business bank account. In addition to your name, contact details and proof of ID, you may also need to supply:

  • Details of how your business is structured. This includes the formation documents for your business.
  • Your employer identification number. If you’re a sole proprietor, you can also use your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Your business license. Your bank will require the full address and contact details of your business or company.
  • Ownership agreements. If you’re not a sole proprietor, you’ll need to include information about any other owners.

How to open a bank account in Canada

There are several ways to apply to open a bank account in Canada. You can:

  • Apply online. You can open an account online by filling out an application on the bank’s website or, if you’re already a customer with the bank, through your online banking account. You can compare both savings and chequings accounts below.
  • Apply on the app. Many banks allow you to apply for a new account by following the prompts through their mobile app.
  • Apply by phone. Some banks will let you open a new account over the phone. You may be required to verify your identity online, by mail or in person.
  • Apply in person. You can visit your nearest bank branch to apply for an account in person.

How old do you have to be to open a bank account?

You’ll typically need to be 18 years old (or the age of majority in your province or territory) to open a bank account. While, the minimum age to open an account in Canada varies by bank and account type, some banks offer youth accounts where children as young as 12 or 13 years old can open an account with a parent.

If you want to learn more about bank account options for youth and children, check out our full guide to youth bank accounts in Canada here.

1 - 5 of 17
Name Product Monthly Account Fee Free Transactions e-Transfer Fee Bonus Offer Offer
BMO Performance Chequing Account
BMO Performance Chequing Account
$17.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
Simplii No Fee Chequing Account
Simplii No Fee Chequing Account
$0
unlimited
$0
Earn $400
Earn $400 when you become a new client and set up a direct deposit of at least $100 for 3 months. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account
RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Get an iPad
Get the new iPad when you switch to RBC & open an RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account. Valid until August 13, 2024.
Scotiabank Preferred Package
Scotiabank Preferred Package
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $400
Earn a welcome bonus of up to $400. Valid until July 31, 2024. Plus, earn up to 6.05% interest for 3 months on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account.
Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account
Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account
$0
unlimited
$1.50
Earn $350
Earn up to $350 when you become a member and open a Free Chequing account plus other products until June 30, 2024. Conditions apply.
loading
1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Finder Rating Promo Rate Regular Interest Rate Transaction Fee 1 Year Return Offer
EQ Notice Savings Account
Not yet rated
/ 5
N/A
5.00%
$0
$500.00
Simplii High Interest Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.9 / 5
5.90% for 5 months
0.40%
$0
$265.88
KOHO Earn Interest
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4.1 / 5
N/A
5.00%
$0
$500.00
Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4 / 5
6.05% for 3 months
1.30%
$5.00
$246.78
loading

Bottom line

Opening a new bank account is a relatively simple process, but knowing exactly what you need to open a bank account in Canada can help make sure the process runs smoothly. After ensuring you meet all of the basic eligibility requirements, get all documents you need ready to show your bank. And to get the best bank account for your needs, compare savings accounts and chequing accounts before getting started.

FAQs about what you need to open a bank account

More guides on Finder

Ask a Question

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Go to site