Opening a checking account is a fairly simple process. They choose a bank, show up, fill out paperwork, provide documentation and leave with a functioning checking account. Eligibility requirements for the checking account are few. All banks require you to be 18 or older, although most allow a minor to be a co-owner with a parent or guardian. Some banks will turn you down if you have criminal convictions for fraud or financial misconduct, or if another bank has closed your account due to mismanagement, such as unpaid overdrafts. To make sure your new checking account runs smoothly and efficiently, bring certain documents with you to the bank, including a government issued photo ID, your social security card, and proof of current address, such as. Mortgage statement or signed lease agreement. While not all banks require each of these banking documents, it is better to have them and not need them than the opposite.
Almost every bank requires that you present a valid government-issued photo ID when you open a checking account. This confirms that you are who you say you are and that the bank can match your name to your face. The most common form of government-issued photo ID is a driver's license. If you have one because you don't drive, you can go to most Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, locations and get an identification ID on the spot. To obtain this ID, you must bring a birth certificate or valid passport and proof of address with the DMV.
Banks also require that you have either a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Tax Identification Number ( ITIN) to open a checking account. If you have a SSN, bring your Social Security card to the bank so the document can be verified. Otherwise bring a proof of your ITIN. If you do not have an SSN or ITIN, you can apply for an ITIN by completing Form W-7 and submitting it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
You also need to bring something that verifies your current data address. While some banks allow you to open a checking account through a post office box, most require you to include a physical address on the account. A valid proof of address is a current official document on which both your name and address are clearly printed. Your most recent utility or cable bill should suffice; if you no longer receive paper bills from these companies, a billing statement printed from your online account will also work. Other possibilities to prove your address are a current mortgage statement or a rental contract signed by you and your landlord.