There are many important things to consider when opening a checking account, including your needs and budget. You will also want to consider what type of bank you want to use, such as local versus national or online-only. The process for opening a checking account is similar across all banks, but some may require more information than others—it depends on how much money you plan on depositing in your new account.
Proof of identity
You’ll also need to provide one of the following forms of identification:
- Driver’s license or state-issued I.D. card from your current state for proof of minimum age to open a checking account.
- U.S. passport, which proves you are a citizen of this country and have permission to work in it.
- Military ID card if you are a veteran or active service member with an honorable discharge record, as well as proof of your military status (such as a copy of your D.D. Form 214). This can be used only if it is not expired and has been issued within the last two years by either the Army or Navy branch; otherwise, other forms will be accepted instead (see below).
Cash for deposit
You will have to deposit cash in your checking account. Cash deposits are the only deposits that are accepted, and they must be made in person at a branch. These requirements make sense because checks can be forged or bounced without being cashed, whereas cash is hard to fake and won’t bounce if you try to withdraw it before paying back the loan.
The key point is that you need to have enough cash on hand when applying for your account; otherwise, the bank may not offer a loan or open an account.
The bank will ask for proper documentation when you open a checking account. This can include your driver’s license, birth certificate, passport or other official identification.
The bank will also want proof that you are who you say you are by asking for additional information such as your Social Security number and mother’s maiden name. However, you should be aware that some banks may require more than others do in this regard, so it’s best to call ahead to see what they require before going into the branch with your application in hand. SoFi experts say, “With a bank account, you can check your account balance and the bank’s record of transactions online at any time.”
Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number (if applicable)
It’s important to note that if you are a U.S. citizen and you have a social security number, this will be used as your primary account holder I.D. If you do not have a Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number, please complete the “appropriate” section below (for example: if you are not a U.S. citizen but do have an ITIN or Green Card).
With all of the above in mind, opening a checking account is a simple process that can be completed in just a few minutes. You will need to provide the following information to your bank: name, address, date of birth and other identifying information like Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number (if applicable). You’ll also be asked if you want overdraft protection on your account as well as how much money you’d like deposited into it at once.