How to Open a Checking Account: What to Bring to a Bank
Jul 27, 2022 By Triston Martin

A bank account might be intimidating, especially for those who have never done so before. To create an account, what specific credentials, information, and documents are required? We'll help you through the process of creating a new bank account or moving to a different bank, and we'll make sure you understand all of the regulations and requirements. When creating a bank account, whether at a branch or on the internet, it's a good idea to be prepared.

Process Requirements

Checking accounts often have extremely low qualifying restrictions. It is a requirement of all banks that account holders be at least 18 years old; however, the majority of banks will allow a person under the age of 18 to be named on an account jointly with a parent/guardian. Unpaid overdrafts, criminal convictions connected to fraud, and bank account closures owing to poor management are all reasons why a bank could refuse to work with you. You must bring the necessary documentation to the bank to open your checking account so that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Even if you don't plan on using any of these papers, it's still a good idea to have them on hand.

Identification Issued by The Government

To establish a checking account, almost all financial institutions need a government-issued picture ID. The bank will be able to confirm that you are who you claim you are and put a face to the name that you provide as a result of this. Most people have a driver's license as their primary form of picture ID. If you don't have a driver's license, go to the DMV and get a state-issued ID. You don't have to take a test to receive one, unlike a driver's license. Make sure to bring a legitimate passport or birth certificate, as well as a form of address verification, to the DMV. Government-issued IDs like a valid passport or even a US military ID are also acceptable forms of government identification. Check with your financial institution to ensure that they are approved before making a purchase.

Social Security Card/ITIN

Opening a checking account requires a valid SSN or TIN. If you have a Social Security number, be sure to bring your card to the bank so that the agent may check it. The bank requires your SSN or TIN to report interest income to the IRS. A valid ITIN should be provided instead. Before heading to the bank to create an account, make sure you apply for an ITIN if you don't already have one. Fill out and send IRS Form W-7 (IRS). Keep in mind that it may take a few weeks to arrive.

Opening a Bank Account

In order to establish a bank account, you may follow the procedures outlined below:

  • Choose A Bank: Before establishing a bank account, assess the bank's features, services, incentives, ATM locations, account types, and monthly costs.
  • Confirm Eligibility Requirements: Find out whether you're eligible and what the minimum age is to create a savings or even checking account with the bank or credit union. Some banks ask that both parents and children be present when opening a child's first savings account or even a student checking account.
  • Choose The Accounts That Are Right for You: It's common to be able to choose whether you want a checking or savings account before you begin the application process. Make sure you're acquainted with all of the account's features before signing up.
  • Start Your Bank Application: After selecting a bank or credit union and the sort of account you want, you should next go to the institution's local branch or check out their website to learn more about the application procedure and to get access to their application.

How to Make Your First Bank Deposit

An initial deposit is typically required when you start a bank account. Based on the bank and kind of account, this deposit amount might vary greatly in quantity. To avoid costs, many checking accounts need a minimum deposit of $25, while others may require a higher deposit amount. As an alternative, many of the greatest savings accounts do not demand a minimum deposit at all; in certain cases, a minimum balance may be required to take advantage of the best interest rates. Check with your possible bank before you apply for a loan to see whether they have this policy. In most cases, you will have the option of funding your starting deposit using a check, debit or credit card, money order, or electronic transfer.


An account may be opened in as little as ten minutes at most banks. With all the necessary documentation and information, this is particularly true. Check with your bank ahead of time to see if there are any other requirements beyond a valid form of identification, social security number, and proof of residence.

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