How to open a bank account without ID in the UK

You are going to need some form of ID to open a bank account in the UK, but the range of documents that banks can accept is wider than you might think.

If you don’t have a UK passport or driving licence, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to open a UK bank account. Here’s what you need to know.

Can I open a bank account in the UK without any ID?

No, you can’t. Banks need to verify your identity before letting you open a bank account. That’s anti-fraud policy 101 and it protects you, too – you wouldn’t want a random person to be able to open a bank account in your name.

This also applies to digital-only banks and prepaid cards – even if you try to open an account online or through an app, you’ll usually be asked to submit a picture of your ID as well as a video of yourself.

However, if you don’t have a valid UK passport or driving licence, there are some other forms of ID that banks may consider, which we outline below.

Bank and e-money accounts known for an easy application process

Revolut - Revolut Standard

Revolut Standard
Finder score
4.3 ★★★★★
Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Get a £20 welcome bonus when you spend your first £20 (T&Cs apply).
Opening an account with Revolut only takes a few minutes and you can do everything straight from your phone. Simply download the app at the App Store or Google Play and then enter your phone number and create a 4-digit passcode for your account. A code will be sent to your phone to verify your account, and you'll need to provide details such as your name, birth date, address and email. You can then verify your identity through the app with a passport or ID card and once approved, your Revolut card should arrive within 10 days. The standard plan has no monthly fee and lets you send and receive money in 29 currencies with no hidden fees. You'll also be able to use the app to track your spending and organise subscriptions to see where you could save, plus set up 'Pockets' to make sure you never miss a bill payment.
  • Low overseas fees
  • Quick application
  • Earn cashback on spending
  • Set budgets for financial goals
  • Virtual cards for online purchases
  • Easy to transfer money internationally
  • Linked 'Junior' account available for one child
  • 1% currency conversion charge on weekend spending abroad
  • Free cash withdrawals in the UK and abroad both limited to £200 per month
  • Cannot deposit cash or cheques into the account
  • Charged a fee to receive your bank card
Minimum opening balance £0
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0% Mon-Fri (max. £1,000 per month)
Overseas cash withdrawals 0% Mon-Fri (max. £1,000 per month)

Starling Bank - Current Account - Age 18 and over

Current Account - Age 18 and over
Finder score
4.7 ★★★★★
Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

3.24% AER

Interest (AER)

Opening a bank account with Starling is easy and should only take around 5 minutes. Simply download the app from Google Play or the App Store and then provide some personal details and photo ID, plus a video selfie. Once your account has been verified, you'll be sent a notification and your account will be up and running. There's no monthly fee for the account which offers instant notifications plus categorised spending insights to help you track your spending and budget better. You can also put money aside in virtual piggy banks, automatically round up transactions to save the change, take advantage of an overdraft and earn interest on your balance. There are no fees for using your card overseas and you can send money internationally with no hidden fees. Manage your account from your laptop, computer or phone and take advantage of 24/7 customer support.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable .
  • No monthly-fees
  • 100% digital sign-up
  • 24/7 UK customer support
  • 'Settle up' feature to split joint bills
  • Pays interest on current account balance
  • Overdrafts available (only on personal accounts)
  • Lower ATM withdrawal limit than some other digital challengers
  • No group savings feature
  • Doesn't have a specific monthly budgeting tool
  • No rewards program
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions £0
Overseas cash withdrawals £0

Monese - Monese

Monese
Finder score
4 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

To open an account with Monese, you'll need to be aged 18 or over and living in the European Economic Area (EEA). All you need to do is download the Monese app from the App Store, Google Play or App Gallery, and then provide your email address and phone number, an ID document like your passport and a quick video selfie to confirm your identity. Simply say where you'd like your card to be sent to and your online account should be up and running. No credit checks are required and you do not need to provide any address documents either. Instead, Monese will verify your address through asking for access to your geolocation while you're using the app.
  • UK current account that does all you can expect, including direct debits and standing orders.
  • Fast and easy set-up (no credit check or proof of local address needed).
  • Colourful app that is easy to use, allows you to categorise your transactions and freeze the card if you lose it.
  • Free card payments and ATM withdrawals abroad.
  • You can load cash into the account for free.
  • Can open both a UK and European account and switch instantly.
  • With a free plan, fee-free ATM withdrawals and cash loads are limited to £200 per month.
  • You can’t put your savings in a separate account or earn interest on them.
  • It doesn’t offer anything more than a current account.
  • No physical branches.
Minimum opening balance £0
Account fee £0

Suits Me - Suits Me - Essential Current Account

£20

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

£10 when your wages or benefits are paid in for the first time (T&C's apply).
If you've recently moved to the UK and don't have a UK passport or driving licence, Suits Me might be able to help you open a bank account. It accepts a wide range of documents when you open an Essential account with the provider, including benefits documents, a tenancy agreement, NHS letter, or birth certificate. Or, if you're seeking asylum in the UK, it also accepts a photo of your application registration card or Home Office letter. This e-account has no monthly fee but transaction charges will apply. There's also a one-off activation charge. Your account comes with a free contactless prepaid debit card.
  • Accepts range of ID documents, ideal if you’ve recently moved to the UK
  • No monthly fee
  • Comes with a prepaid debit card
  • No credit check
  • One-off activation fee applies
  • Transaction charges also apply
Minimum opening balance £20
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee No
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 2%
Overseas cash withdrawals 2%

Monzo - Monzo

Monzo
Finder score
4.6 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Monzo Instant Access Savings Pot earns you 4.10% AER interest (variable), paid monthly into the Pot you create.
To open a Monzo account, all you need to do is download the app on either iOS or Android and then provide personal details such as your home address, email and phone number. You'll also be asked a few details about what you do for a living and you'll then need to verify your identity using a form of ID and by taking a video selfie. The whole process should take no more than 10 minutes. Monzo's free account option offers fee-free UK bank transfers, plus instant notifications so you can see what you're spending where. You'll also be able to set up separate pots to help you keep money for bills or holidays separate from the rest of your balance. Because Monzo is a fully licensed UK bank, eligible deposits will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per person.
Assumed arranged overdraft of £1,200. Annual interest rate 39.00% variable. Representative 39.0% APR.
  • Easy to set up
  • Good for budgeting and categorising spending
  • Automatic saving feature
  • Fee-free spending abroad
  • Slick app with face login
  • Overdrafts and loans available
  • Free ATM withdrawals outside the EEA limited to £200,
  • £1 fee for depositing cash at PayPoints,
  • Maximum cash deposit of £1,000 every 6 months
  • No rewards program
Minimum opening balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0%
Overseas cash withdrawals 0%

What counts as ID and what can I use to open a bank account?

Most documents that count as ID will display both your personal details and a picture of yourself. If you have a UK passport or a UK driving licence, you’re sorted; any bank will take them.

If you don’t, here is a list of alternative IDs that banks normally accept:

  • Any other nationality’s passport. It might have to be accompanied by a visa if you need it to reside in the UK.
  • EU/EEA ID card or driving licence. An easy solution if you’ve just moved from a country in the European Union to the UK, for example.
  • HMRC tax notification. This is one of those letters you get about your taxes, for example at the end of the tax year, when HMRC will tell you if you have paid too much or too little.
  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). A document with your picture, fingerprints and immigration status that you normally get if, for example, you apply for a visa to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months.
  • Home Office documents. Specifically, an immigration status document or an application registration card (ARC). The ARC is a card released by the Home Office to asylum seekers.
  • Disabled drivers’ pass. This is also referred to as “blue badge” and is released by the council. It’s for on-street parking and allows people with disability to park close to their destination.
  • Young Scot card. This is a card that young people aged 11-26 living in Scotland can get for free and entitles them to a series of benefits, such as travel discounts.
  • UK Armed Forces ID card. Such as the one released to veterans.
  • Benefits entitlement letter. You usually receive one in response to your benefits application. You can get one from the office that pays your benefits (for example, from the council, if you receive housing benefits).
  • Northern Ireland voters card. This is one of the documents that voters who live in Northern Ireland can use to prove their ID when going to the polls.

Many of these documents actually require you to provide an ID document when you apply for them. But they can still be helpful – for example if you find yourself having lost your passport and urgently need to open a bank account before you get a new one.

Also, this is a general list and different banks may have slightly different policies.

Finally, it’s worth noting that if you have one of these “alternative IDs”, especially the less straightforward ones (such as a benefits letter), it will probably be easier to get an account at a traditional high street bank, rather than with a digital-only bank.

Which high street banks could help?

Many high street banks offer a range of accounts that are easier to apply for than other types of account. These include basic bank accounts that can help people with a poor credit score apply for an account and often do not require proof of address.

HSBC

HSBC is working in partnership with Shelter and other UK and local charities to help those without a fixed home address open a bank account. The No Fixed Address programme is available in selected HSBC branches and to access it you must be experiencing housing or homelessness difficulties and receiving support from one of HSBC’s partner charities.

Alternatively, if you have a UK or EU address, you can apply for HSBC’s basic bank account. This account is designed for those struggling to get accepted for a bank account elsewhere, either due to financial difficulties or a poor credit record.

Metro Bank

In most cases, if you’re a UK, EEA or Swiss National, all you’ll need to open a bank account with Metro Bank is a valid passport, EU national ID card, or UK driving licence. If you’re not a UK, EEA or Swiss National, you will need to show a valid passport containing your current visa or Biometric Residence Permit, plus proof of address.

If you can’t provide some of the documents requested, you can still apply for Metro Bank’s Cash Account and the bank will accept the following:

  • International students – valid passport, plus student visa and a letter of acceptance or introduction from a UK education institution
  • Asylum seekers – IND Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office, plus proof of address and confirmation of asylum support allowance or other income
  • People in care homes or sheltered accommodation – in this situation you should speak to a branch staff member to talk through your options.

Lloyds

If you have a UK passport or driving licence, this is usually all you need to open a bank account with Lloyds, so you don’t need to worry about proof of address.

However, if you don’t have a UK passport or driving licence, you will need to bring two documents into your local branch, one as proof of identity and one as proof of address.

Proof of ID can include:

  • Current EU/EEA passport, photo driving licence or identity card
  • All other current signed passports
  • HMRC tax notification
  • Young Scots Card
  • Blue disabled drivers pass
  • Benefits entitlement letter
  • UK Armed Forces ID Card
  • Home Office Immigration Status Document
  • Home Office Application Registration Card
  • Northern Ireland Voters Card

Proof of address can include:

  • Bank, building society or UK credit union statement
  • UK, EU/EEA mortgage statement
  • Utility bill dated from the last 6 months
  • HMRC tax notification
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Benefits entitlement letter

If you do not have any of the above, Lloyds says it may still be able to help you open an account if you contact your local branch for assistance. If you do not qualify for any of Lloyds’ main bank accounts, you may be put forward for its basic account (you cannot apply for it directly).

TSB

Similar to Lloyds, if you are opening a TSB bank account online you will usually only need to provide proof of ID. You will also need details of your income, addresses for the past 3 years and the name and address of your employer. You will need to be aged 18 or over, a UK resident and either an EU national or have permission to stay in the UK for at least 12 months.

Like most other high street banks, if you don’t qualify for any of TSB’s main bank accounts, you may qualify for its basic Cash Account.

How about credit reference checks?

Sometimes, you may be able to apply for and open a current account online from a traditional bank without ever having to provide proof of identity or popping into a branch.

However, this usually means that your identity has been verified digitally through a credit reference agency, by conducting a so-called “soft check” that will not leave traces on your credit record.

For banks to be able to verify your identity in this way, your credit report needs to contain enough information about you to allow it. So if it’s the first time you apply for a current account or any other type of banking product, don’t expect it to work.

Also, be aware that most traditional banks will perform a full credit check (not just a soft one) when you apply for a current account, particularly if it comes with an overdraft facility. You can check your credit score here for free.

There are current accounts on the market that do not conduct a credit check. These include current accounts from Cashplus and ThinkMoney.

Case study: Mark found help when he had no stable address

Mark McKenzie profile pic
Mark McKenzie

Lincolnshire

As a former prison inmate, I didn't have an address when I came out of prison. I found that a lot of churches now let people use their addresses for mail as a care-of address. This came in handy to receive identification documents and letters so I could claim benefits until I could find a stable job and permanent address. I now live with my fiancee and I have so much pressure taken off my shoulders with a little help.

If there's one thing you'd tell a friend who's thinking of getting this, what would it be?

Don't be afraid to ask for help and advice and check what options are available. You can find help for arranging everything you need like an account and ID.

Who would consider a bank account while struggling to provide ID?

There are a number of scenarios in which someone might be struggling to provide ID and there are different options they can take. We’ve outlined these below:

Who is most likely to be researching getting a bank account without id?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
65+4.19%3.36%
55-645.02%4.78%
45-548.94%7.97%
35-4410.35%10.07%
25-3413.93%11.60%
18-2411.73%8.06%
Source: Finder sample of 13,211 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

Bottom line

It isn’t possible to open a bank account in the UK without being able to show some recognised form of identification, and this is primarily to prevent fraud.

However, providing proof of ID doesn’t necessarily mean showing either a valid UK passport or a driving licence. There are some other forms of ID that banks may be able to use when considering an application to open an account. These can include a passport from another country, EU or EEA ID or driving licence, HMRC tax notifications, and Home Office documents. Digital e-money providers that are well known to offer an easy application process include Monese, Starling Bank and Revolut.

Frequently asked questions

Banking scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Finder scores, in blue, are based on our expert analysis. We also show reviews from users, where we've received more than 10, with a score in yellow. We gather more reviews from customers every year in Finder's customer satisfaction survey.

To find out more, read our full methodology.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

More guides on Finder

Go to site