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How to open a bank account without photo ID in Canada

You need ID to open a bank account in Canada, but banks accept more forms of ID than you might think.

If you don’t have a Canadian passport or driver’s license, you might think it’s impossible to open a bank account without photo ID. But banks may accept other, less commonly used forms of ID.

Can I open a bank account without photo ID in Canada?

The short answer is no. Banks need to verify your identity before you can open an account. That’s anti-fraud policy 101, and it protects you. You wouldn’t want a random person to be able to open a bank account in your name.

This also applies to digital banks. Even if you try to open an account online or through an app, you’ll usually be asked to submit a copy of your ID or a video of yourself.

But if you don’t have a valid Canadian passport or driver’s license, banks might accept other forms of ID.

Use an international passport as verification

Neo Financial now accepts international passports as a verification method for customers. You must still have a Canadian address and a Canadian phone number, however. You can signup for any of their financial services using this as a verification method including the Neo Money Account, the Neo High Interest Savings Account and regular or secured credit cards.

Neo Money Account

Earn 1% interest on every dollar you save and earn an average of 5% cashback on spending with your Neo card. There are no monthly account fees, no transaction fees and no minimum balance requirements.

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

Banks will look for ID that has an identification number and shows your name, signature and picture. Canadian passports and driver’s licenses issued in a Canadian province or territory are always acceptable (unless expired).

If you don’t have these, here’s a list of alternative IDs that banks might accept. If you don’t have photo ID, you may need to provide multiple alternatives types of ID.

  • Permanent Resident card
  • Health Card (not acceptable in all provinces)
  • Provincial or territorial identity card
  • Tax Notice of Assessment
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • Canadian Forces Card
  • Canadian citizenship card (issued before 2012)
  • Federally issued firearms license
  • Foreign passport
  • US permanent resident card
  • US driver’s license

ID typically includes: First and last name, signature, photo, date of birth, expiration date, identification number

Why is it sometimes difficult to provide ID to open a bank account?

There are a number of scenarios in which someone might be struggling to provide ID, and there are different options they can take.

Just moved to Canada

If you’ve recently arrived in Canada, you might not yet have a residence, making it tough to provide proof of residency. In this case, many banks accept foreign-issued passports as well as your Canadian-issued visa or other immigration documents.

International students

If you’re planning to study in Canada, you might want to open a Canadian bank account for everyday spending and money transfers. Luckily, most major banks have accounts designed for students and newcomers to Canada with provisions for those who can’t provide the usual Canadian ID.

Digital nomads

With more and more people working remotely, travelling the world while working has become much easier. If you’re living the nomadic life, you may want to get a Canadian mailing address from an online address service provider. Note that there is a cost for this service, which varies depending on the provider you choose and whether you pay for add-ons like mail/package forwarding.

Homelessness

Should you find yourself without a home, there are ways to get an address without buying or renting property. Similar to digital nomads, you can get a virtual address or proxy address where your mail can be sent.

ID requirements for major Canadian banks

TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust

Requirements:

SIN card and:

  • Valid Passport
  • Drivers License
  • Birth Certificate (if under 21)
  • Government Issued Age of Majority card

Can apply in person at a branch with 2 pieces of ID that show your name, address and date of birth. If you can’t provide a SIN number, documentation must be certified as true by TD Waterhouse or TD Canada Trust Branch personnel.

CIBC

CIBC

Requirements:

  • Driver’s license issued in Canada, US or UK
  • Canadian passport or eligible foreign passport
  • BC Services Card (in BC)
  • NEXUS card
  • CANPASS Air membership card
  • Certificate of Canadian or US Citizenship
  • Certification of Naturalization (not a commemorative issue)
  • Canadian or US Permanent Resident card
  • Canadian Certificate of Indian Status
  • Provincial or territorial health insurance card (not valid in all provinces)
  • Provincial/territorial identification card
  • Government of Canada employee ID card with name + photograph
  • Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation (MPIC) card
  • Canadian Firearms License
  • Provincial or Federal Police force ID card
  • Canadian Forces ID Card
  • Correctional Services Canada ID card
  • US Certificate of Naturalization

RBC

RBC

Requirements:

2 pieces of identification from the following:

  • 2 pieces of identification from List A
  • 1 piece of identification from List A and 1 piece of identification from List B

Scotiabank

Scotiabank

Requirements:

One piece of government-issued photo identification from this list:

  • Valid Canadian driver’s license (not acceptable in Quebec)
  • Valid Canadian passport
  • Certification of Naturalization
  • Canadian Citizenship card (issued prior to 2012)
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Provincial/territorial health insurance card with a photo (not acceptable in all provinces)
  • Secure certificate of Indian Status issued by the Government of Canada
  • Provincial/territorial identity cards (with the exception of Quebec)
  • DND 404 Driver’s Licence
  • Canadian Forces Card
  • Firearms Possession and Acquisition Licence
  • Foreign passport
  • Nexus Card
  • Canpass Card
  • Global Entry Card
  • National Identity Card
  • US Permanent Resident Card
  • US driver’s licence

BMO

BMO

Requirements:

The eligible piece of identification must contain a photo and be issued by a government agency, including a federal government, (e.g. Canada, US or other foreign government), or by a provincial/territorial/state level
government.

  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Certificate of Indian Status issued by the Government of Canada
  • Driver’s licence as permitted to be used for identification purposes (a temporary Alberta Driver’s
  • Licence prohibited from being used as identification)
  • Canadian Firearms Licence
  • Government issued ID card or document
  • Immigration Canada Documents; Immigration
  • Canada form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, IMM 5292, or IMM 5688
  • NEXUS Card
  • Passport
  • Permanent Resident card
  • Provincial or territorial health insurance card as permitted to be used as identification under provincial or territorial law (health cards issued by the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, P.E.I., and Nova Scotia are prohibited from being used as identification anywhere in Canada)
  • Document or card, bearing the individual’s photograph and signature, issued by any of the following authorities or their successors:
    • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
    • Alberta Registries
    • Saskatchewan Government Insurance
    • Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
    • Department of Transportation and Public Works of the Province of Prince Edward Island
    • Service New Brunswick
    • Department of Government Services and Lands of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Department of Transportation of the Northwest Territories
    • Department of Community Government and Transportation of the Territory of Nunavut
  • Newcomers to Canada: SIN number and Canadian address

National Bank

National Bank

Requirements:

Valid government ID issued in Canada including:

  • Canadian passport
  • Driver’s licence
  • Permanent resident card
  • Provincial or federal identification card (excluding Quebec)
  • Quebec Health Insurance Card (new version)

When applying online, you will submit a copy of your ID and a selfie for comparison. You can also verify your identity by signing into online banking at another financial institution where you have a chequing or savings account.

Tangerine logo

Tangerine

Requirements:

Proof of ID:

  • Canadian Driver’s Licence
  • Canadian Passport
  • Provincial or Territorial Photo ID Card
  • Canadian Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • Canadian Permanent Resident Card
  • Quebec Health Card with picture and signature

Proof of residence:

  • Bank Statement
  • School Report Card/University or College Transcript
  • Lease/Mortgage Statement
  • Insurance Policy
  • Vehicle Ownership/Insurance
  • Municipal Tax Notice
  • Utility Bill
  • Child Tax Benefits Statement
  • Income Tax Assessment
  • Government Cheque/Stub
  • Statement of E/I Benefits (T4E)
  • CPP/QPP Statement
  • Statement of Old Age Security (T4A)
  • WSIB Statement of Benefits
  • Direct Deposit/Provincial Support Program Statement
  • Attestation of Residence Issued by Responsible Authority
  • Credit Card Statement with Card

How about credit checks?

You may be able to open a bank account without providing multiple types of ID if your bank allows digital identity verification by conducting a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score. However, some banks require hard credit checks if you open an account online. This will affect your credit score.

Open a bank account

1 - 12 of 20
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.
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.
EQ Bank Personal Account
EQ Bank Personal Account
$0
unlimited
$0
Earn 4.00% interest
Enjoy high interest with no fees on everyday banking, plus unlimited transactions and no minimum balances. Sign up online in minutes.
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 Elevate Chequing Account
Coast Capital Elevate Chequing Account
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Earn up to $600 when you become a member and open an Elevate Chequing Account plus other products until June 30, 2024. Conditions apply.
Scotiabank Ultimate Package
Scotiabank Ultimate Package
$30.95 (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 Unlimited Chequing Account
Coast Capital Unlimited Chequing Account
$8.50 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $450
Earn up to $450 when you become a member and open an Unlimited Chequing Account plus other products until June 30, 2024. Conditions apply.
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.
BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account
BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account
$30.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% bonus interest rate when you add a Savings Amplifier Account.
RBC VIP Banking Account
RBC VIP Banking Account
$30 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Get an iPad
Get an iPad when you switch to RBC & open an RBC VIP Banking Account. Valid until August 13, 2024.

Innovation Federal Credit Union No-Fee Chequing Account
Innovation Federal Credit Union No-Fee Chequing Account
$0
unlimited
$0
Win a spring getaway
Open an account and you could win a $2,500 spring getaway. Valid until June 30, 2024.
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1 - 7 of 7
Name Product Finder Rating Promo Rate Regular Interest Rate Transaction Fee 1 Year Return Offer
EQ Bank Notice Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4.3 / 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
1.20%
$5.00
$239.15
Laurentian Bank High Interest Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.8 / 5
N/A
4.00%
$1.00
$300
TD High Interest Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.5 / 5
N/A
0.05%
$5.00
$5.00
Tangerine Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4 / 5
6.00% for 5 months
0.60%
$0
$277.75
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Bottom line

To prevent fraud, you can’t open a bank account in Canada without ID. Although passports and driver’s licenses are the most commonly used forms of ID, banks typically accept a much wider range of documents to verify your identity. You may also be able to verify your ID by consenting to a credit check.

Frequently asked questions

Written by

Stacie Hurst

Stacie Hurst is an editor at Finder, specializing in a wide range of topics including stock trading, money transfers, loans, banking products, online shopping and streaming. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Writing, and she completed one year of law school in the United States before deciding to pursue a career in the publishing industry. When not working, Stacie can usually be found watching K-dramas or playing games with her friends and family. See full profile

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