How to get a prepaid debit card without ID

Learn how to apply for a prepaid debit card even if you don’t have a photographic ID or proof of address.

If you don’t have the usual forms of ID, don’t panic. Prepaid cards are a popular choice for people who don’t have ID, because they often don’t require proof of address. They also regularly accept a wider range of documents for ID checks.

Is it possible to get a prepaid card without ID?

While you’re unlikely to get a prepaid card without any ID whatsoever, you can usually find accounts with less strict requirements than when setting up a bank account.

You’ll need some form of ID is so banks can prove you’re not committing fraud and do anti-laundering checks.

However, because prepaid cards do not offer any credit (such as an overdraft or credit card), many do not need the usual proof of address. You also shouldn’t need to pass a credit check, because you won’t be borrowing any money.

What documents will be required?

Different providers have different rules about what forms of ID they will accept.
The types of documents that providers might accept instead of a passport or driving licence include:

  • HMRC tax credit entitlement confirmation
  • Evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit
  • DWP state pension confirmation
  • Birth certificate
  • Young Scots card
  • Blue Disabled drivers pass
  • UK Armed Forces ID Card
  • Northern Ireland electoral ID card
  • Visa type D alongside international passport
  • UK residence card
  • An EU ID card or EEA member state ID card
  • Firearms certificate or shotgun licence
  • Biometric residence permit
  • Construction industry scheme card

If you don’t have any of these forms of ID, some providers might also accept other things like an HMRC letter valid for the current tax year or dated within the last 12 months. It’s worth ringing up the company directly to see what’s possible.

While some providers will accept you without any proof of address, some banks, building societies and digital apps still require documentation. The good news is that the list of what they will accept for a prepaid card is usually quite broad. For instance, you could use:

  • UK, EU, EEA driver’s licence
  • A bank or building society statement
  • A utility bill
  • Benefits or DWP Pension confirmation
  • Council tax bill
  • Any letter from HMRC
  • Tenancy agreement from a council or housing association
  • Credit card or store card statement
  • Council rent card
  • Firearms certificate or shotgun licence
  • Bankruptcy Order, Bankruptcy Restriction Order or Debt Relief Order
  • Mortgage statement
  • Inland Revenue Notice of Tax
  • Solicitor’s letter
  • Recent proof that you’re entitled to a local authority funded benefit
  • Probation letter from HMP
  • Council tax demand letter
  • Insurance policy document
  • Confirmation letter from a university for occupation of the halls of residence
  • Solicitor’s completion of sale advice
  • Court Appointment

Alternatives to a prepaid card

All UK banks and building societies have to offer a free basic bank account option. While many of these accounts often ask for photo ID and proof of address, many accept a wide range of documents similar to those used by prepaid card providers.

Check banking websites to find out what kinds of ID they will accept. Many have more options available if you open an account in a physical branch, so check to see your nearest locations.

Bottom line

While it’s harder to get a prepaid card without a photo ID, it’s not impossible. Plenty of providers accept a wide range of documents, so even if you don’t have a driving license or have just moved to the UK, you should be able to open an account.

Frequently asked questions

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