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

How to open a bank account without proof of address in Canada

Digital bank accounts are easy to open with government-issued ID. You might not need additional proof of residency.

Wondering how to open a bank account without proof of address in Canada? If you need a Canadian bank account as soon as possible, opening an account with a digital bank usually takes just a few minutes. You’ll need to provide proof of identity like a passport or driving licence, but some online banks don’t require additional proof of address.

Canadian banks that normally don’t require proof of address

You can open an account with the following digital banks that don’t normally need proof of address on top of existing ID requirements like a driver’s licence or passport.

  • EQ Bank. This Canada-based digital bank offers a savings account, TFSA, US dollar account, GICs and more.
  • Simplii Financial. Owned by CIBC, this online bank offers bank accounts, loans, mortgages, investment solutions, international money transfers and other financial products and services.
  • Neo Financial. An increasingly popular competitor in the digital banking space, Neo Financial offers a cashback spending card, a combined savings and spending account, online investing and mortgages.
  • Koho (financial services provider, not a bank). Although not technically a bank, Koho offers several prepaid Mastercards that let you earn interest on your savings and get cashback on your purchases. Spend and manage funds using Koho’s card and highly-rated mobile app like you would with a bank-issued debit card.

If you need an account primarily for sending and receiving money abroad, consider using an online money transfer service like Wise, Western Union or WorldRemit. These services support a wide variety of payment and receiving methods, and the fees for sending money internationally are low compared to banks.

Compare accounts that don’t normally require additional proof of address

EQ Bank Personal Account logo

EQ Bank Personal Account

Go to site


Bonus Interest Rate

4%


Ongoing Interest Rate

2.5%


Monthly Account Fee

$0

Simplii High Interest Savings Account logo

Simplii High Interest Savings Account

Go to site


Bonus Interest Rate

6%


Ongoing Interest Rate

0.4%


Monthly Account Fee

$0

Neo Money Account logo

Neo Money Account

Go to site


Bonus Interest Rate

N/A


Ongoing Interest Rate

4%


Monthly Account Fee

$0

How to get a bank account without proof of address

Opening a bank account is pretty straightforward. This is especially true if you go with an online bank, which is your best best if you want a simple process with minimal requirements. Here’s how it works:
  1. Compare digital banks. Compare fees and features of digital banks that don’t normally require a proof of address on top of government-issued ID.
  2. Go to your bank’s platform. Visit the website of the bank you want to go with, or download its mobile app.
  3. Apply for an account. Sign up for an account — this can usually be done in a few minutes.
  4. Begin using your account. Access your account online or via mobile app. While waiting for you card to arrive in the mail, begin using your account features.

What counts as proof of address in Canada?

Here’s a list of proof of address documents in Canada you can usually use when banks want to confirm your residency. Bank policies vary, so speak to a representative or check online to find out which proof of residency documents are acceptable.

  • Recent utility bill (phone, water, gas, electricity, cable etc.)
  • Recent bank statement
  • Recent credit card statement
  • Recent pay stub
  • Signed and dated employment letter
  • Driver’s licence issued in Canada
  • Vehicle ownership or registration document (if address is shown)
  • Most recent CRA Notice of Assessment
  • Government cheque or cheque stub (with name and address)
  • Statement of Old Age Security (T4A) or of Canada Pension Plan Benefits (T4AP)
  • Rental or mortgage agreement
  • Property tax receipt
  • Voter registration card
  • Insurance policy
  • P.O. Box rental agreement
  • University acceptance or enrollment letter

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

Check out the documents required to open bank account in Canada with major banks like TD, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, BMO and National Bank.

BankRequired ID
TD Canada Trust logoTD Bank logo

TD Canada Trust

  • 2 documents from a reliable source with your name and address or 1 valid Canadian government-issued photo ID (passport, driver’s licence or permanent resident card)
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Proof of address may be requested
CIBC logo

CIBC

Additional proof of address not required if you can present one of the following:
  • Driver’s licence 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 and photo
  • Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation (MPIC) card
  • A Yukon General ID Card
  • Canadian Firearms Licence
  • Provincial or Federal Police force ID
  • Canadian Forces ID
  • Correctional Services Canada ID
  • US Certificate of Naturalization
RBC Logo

RBC

  • 1 piece of government photo ID issued in Canada or
  • 2 pieces of ID from List A or
  • 1 piece of ID from List A and 1 from List B

List A:

  • Canadian Birth certificate
  • Canadian Citizenship Certificate
  • Canadian Citizenship and Immigration form IMM1000 (before June 28, 2002), IMM1442 or IMM5292
  • Canadian Naturalization Certificate (not a commemorative issue)
  • Canadian Old Age Security card
  • Canadian Social Insurance Number Card (issued March 31, 2014 or prior)
  • Provincial and territorial health insurance card (except for Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and PEI)

List B:

  • ATM card or client card
  • Canadian Social Insurance Number letter (issued after March 31, 2014)
  • Student card with photo issued by Canadian university or college
  • Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) client card with photo and signature
  • Credit card with your name and signature
  • Employee identity card with your photo
  • Diplomatic ID issued by Foreign Affairs
  • Sponsor, personally known by a RBC client or community member
Scotiabank logo

Scotiabank

Valid Canada-issued government ID with your name, photo and signature.
  • 1 valid form of ID: passport, national ID card or driver’s licence
  • Proof of address: utility bill (from the past 6 months and excluding mobile), tax assessment, bank statement, rental contract from your landlord
  • Proof of income: job letter or most recent pay slip (if employed), proof of business income generation such as bank statements, receipt books or contracts (if self-employed)
BMO logo

BMO

  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Canadian Certificate of Indian Status
  • Driver’s licence
  • Canadian Firearms Licence
  • Government-issued ID card or document
  • Immigration Canada Documents: forms IMM 1000, IMM 1442, IMM 5292, or IMM 5688
  • NEXUS Card
  • Passport
  • Permanent Resident card
  • Provincial or territorial health insurance (except in Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and PEI)
  • Provincial/territorial ID card

If you can’t provide photo ID, BMO accepts 2 documents from a reliable source with your name, address and date of birth.

National Bank logo

National Bank

Valid Canada-issued government ID such as:
  • Canadian passport
  • Driver’s licence
  • Permanent resident card
  • Provincial or federal identification card (excluding Quebec)
  • Quebec Health Insurance Card (new version)

Online applicants will need to submit a selfie and photo ID for comparison or sign into online banking for any other bank where they have an account.

Can I open a Canadian bank account from outside Canada?

Yes, it’s possible to open a Canadian bank from outside Canada if you plan to relocate to the country soon. Several major banks offer packages designed for newcomers to Canada. These come with special perks like:

  • Discounted or waived monthly account fees for the first year
  • Low or no-fee international money transfers
  • Discounted or waived annual fees on select credit cards
  • High promotional savings account interest rates

National Bank lets you open a bank account online up to 90 days before arriving in Canada.

Through the CIBC Smart Arrival program, you can open an account up to 12 months before coming to Canada if you’re travelling from an eligible country and have a valid passport as well as a unique client identifier (UCI) issued by the Government of Canada.

Another example is the Scotiabank StartRight program, which allows travellers from certain countries to register for an account up to 18 months in advance of moving to Canada.

Benefits of digital banking

The Canadian Bankers Association reports that eight out of 10 Canadians use online and mobile apps for most of their banking transactions. Around two-third of Canadians use a mobile app for banking. Digital banks are riding the wave of technological innovation, eliminating in-person branches, slashing overhead-related fees and making it possible to manage your money just about anytime, anywhere.

Besides an easy signup process, digital banks tend to have well-developed, easy-to-use online and mobile apps. Everything you need to do can be taken care of online, so there’s no need to go to a physical branch. No physical locations means low operating costs, which translates to low or no account fees.

Plus, digital bank accounts can be used just like traditional bank accounts. Have your income automatically deposited into your account, transfer funds between accounts and send/receive money electronically. Like major banks, digital banks in Canada are federally regulated.

Many digital financial products also charge low fees for international transactions. The EQ Bank Card (a prepaid spending card), comes with 0% foreign transaction fees. The KOHO Easy Prepaid Mastercard only charges 1.5% for foreign transactions, while the KOHO Extra Prepaid Card charges 0%. The transfer fee for Simplii Financial international money transfers is $0.

If that wasn’t enough, most online financial apps come with tools that help you manage your money. This might include budgeting features, categorized spending, automatic savings plans and rounding-up features.

Open a digital banking account without proof of address

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Promo Rate Regular Interest Rate Transaction Fee 1 Year Return Offer
EQ Bank Personal Account
EQ Bank Personal Account
4.00% for 12 months
2.50%
$0
$400.00
Simplii High Interest Savings Account
Simplii High Interest Savings Account
6.00% for 5 months
0.40%
$0
$269.89
Neo High Interest Savings Account
Neo High Interest Savings Account
N/A
4.00%
$0
$400.00
KOHO Earn Interest
KOHO Earn Interest
N/A
5.00%
$0
$500.00
loading

Bottom line

If you just arrived in Canada or just moved to a new house, getting the right documentation to open a new bank account can be a challenge. Many digital banks make it possible to open a bank account without proof of address on top of government-issued ID.

An increasingly popular alternative to traditional banks, online financial institutions tend to come with benefits like low fees and convenient money management options.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

Ask a Question

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Go to site