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Checklist for Opening a Bank Account

December 1, 2020

You may decide that a checking or savings account is the right product for you. If you do, opening an account is quite simple.

Opening An Account at a Bank

First, you may want to get a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member for a bank. Find out about:

  • The fees they charge
  • The services they offer, like online bill payment or a mobile app
  • The interest they pay for savings accounts

You usually need to make an initial deposit between $25 and $100 to open a checking or savings account.

Checklist for Opening a Bank Account


Checklist

You also need to provide information so the bank can verify your name, date of birth, address, and identification number. An identification number can be a Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), passport number and country of issuance, alien identification card number, or other government-issued identification number.

  • Many banks require you to show a U.S or state issued government issued identification number with your photo on it, such as a driver's license, U.S. passport, or military identification.
  • If you do not have a U.S. or state government issued form of identification, some banks accept foreign passports and Consular IDs, such as Matricula Consular card.

Additionally, you generally need one of the following:

  • Your Social Security card
  • A bill with your name and address on it
  • Your birth certificate

Matricula Consular
A Matricular Consular is an official Mexican government identification document. Other countries, such as Guatemala and Argentina, offer similar IDs. Consulates in the United States offer them. If you come from another country and don't have a US or state government issued ID, visit your country's consulate for more information about how to get an ID card, and check with the banks on your list to see if they accept it.

ITIN and interest-bearing accounts
For further information on ITINs and how to obtain one, contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 or see the information found at: www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information


Checklist to Open a Checking Account Thumbnail


This information is adapted from a publication from the Consumer Protection Bureau. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Citizens State Bank and its affiliates, and Citizens State Bank is not responsible for and does not verify the accuracy of any information contained in this article or items hyperlinked within. This is for informational purposes and is no way intended to provide legal advice.