Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.
What are the requirements to open a bank account?
Have your information handy to make the application process run smoothly.
Requirements vary from bank to bank, but you’ll generally need to provide your personal information and verify your identity.
There are several ways to apply for a bank account. 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.
- 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.
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 but can include:
- Age requirements. You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age to open an account by yourself, though minors may be able to open a joint account with a guardian. And different age limits can apply to some special accounts, such as a kids or seniors account.
- Residency requirements. You’ll typically need to be a US resident to open an account, but in some cases it is possible to open an account from overseas.
- Deposit requirements. Some accounts require a minimum deposit in order to open an account, such as $500 or $1,000.
Other criteria may apply, so check the terms and conditions before beginning an application.
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, you’ll need to provide:
- 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.
- Social Security number. You’ll need your Social Security number to open a new account
If you’re opening a joint account, you’ll need to provide the above information for all account holders.
What ID do I need to set up a bank account?
The exact ID requirements can differ slightly between banks, so it’s worth checking with your financial institution for their guidelines on acceptable forms of ID. However, you’ll generally need to supply some form of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Some banks may also require you to submit a birth certificate or Social Security card and/or proof of address, like a utility bill.
How can I provide photo ID?
Some banks allow you to verify your ID online. You’ll need to have your ID handy when applying for an account online and then follow the on-screen prompts to photograph your ID. However, some banks may require you to bring your ID to the nearest branch. Alternatively, your bank may require you to provide a certified copy of your documents by mail. Opening a new bank account is a relatively simple process, but it’s a good idea to have all your personal documents handy to make sure the process runs smoothly. And to get the best bank account for your needs, compare savings accounts and checking accounts before getting started.
Compare popular bank accounts
Frequently asked questions
Image source: Getty Images
Opening a new bank account is a relatively simple process, but it’s a good idea to have all your personal documents handy to make sure the process runs smoothly. And to get the best bank account for your needs, compare savings accounts and checking accounts before getting started.
Ask an Expert