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What do you need to open a bank account?
Before you apply, make sure you meet these requirements to open a bank account.
Requirements vary from bank to bank, but you’ll generally need to provide your personal information and verify your identity.
5 things you need to open a bank account
You’ll typically be asked to provide the following pieces of information when opening a bank account.
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your Social Security number
- Your email address
Depending on the type of account you open, there may also be circumstances where you need to supply some additional information.
- Kids bank account. Your child’s birth certificate.
- Student account. Your student ID, .edu email address or proof of enrollment.
- Overseas account. Your passport, visa details, destinations and travel dates.
- Linked account. Routing and accounts numbers of external banks.
Most banks require you to meet certain eligibility requirements before you can open an account. These include:
- At least 18 years of age.
- Resident of the United States.
- Proof of address.
- Government-issued photo ID.
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 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.
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 a bank 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.
How much money do I need to open a bank account?
The amount of money you need to open a bank account depends on the type of bank account you are opening. Many banks don’t require any initial deposit to open a checking account, while others ask for small amounts ranging from $10 to $100. When it comes to savings accounts, many banks don’t require any specific amount to open an account. But with certificates of deposit (CDs), you’ll usually need an amount between $250 and $2,500 to get started.
Compare popular bank accounts
To find the best bank accounts for your lifestyle, compare interest rates, fees and minimum required deposits. Switch tabs in the below table to compare checking and savings accounts.
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.
Image source: Getty Images
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