What You Need to Open a Bank Account

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Maybe you have finally saved a bit to put away, or maybe you find yourself enjoying the bounty of extra seasonal income or holiday tipping. It’s not a good idea to keep too much cash lying around, and safeguarding cash is just one of many reasons to open a bank account. Even if you already have an account many recommend having a separate account for business purposes if you’re working in the gig economy. Here’s what you’ll need to get your new account opened.

1. Common Forms of Identification

Expect that you will need some sort of government-issued identification. This could be a driver’s license or another form of state-issued ID, or a passport. In addition to having a photo ID, it is also important to have proof of address. If you’re government issued ID does not have an address printed on it, such as with a passport, you should also bring something like a utility bill with you name on it, that shows your current address.

You will also need to provide the bank with some additional information about yourself, including your birth date and social security number or individual tax identification number.

2. Opening deposit

The purpose of a bank account is to store your money, so you’ll need to bring with you an initial deposit.  You can bring this in cash or you can open the account by depositing a check (if it is not a cashier’s check, it may take some time for the funds to clear for your use).

3. Application

Many banks will require you to fill out an application. It is here where you will provide the necessary personal information such as your date of birth, social security number and phone number. If you’d like to fill out this form beforehand, see if the bank offers an online copy or request that one is emailed to you to save you from having to spend extra time in the branch.

Whether you’re considering starting a new job this year, or want a better way to manage money for the same job, having the right bank account is important. Make certain that the new account you choose will fulfill your needs, whether it be with a savings account, checking account or a business bank account.


About the Author: Alexandra Mendez-Diez has worked as a freelance writer and editor for the past decade. She loves that the job entails writing about such a wide variety of topics, ranging from cattle-handling best practices to how-to guides for tracing ancestry through cookbooks, with all kinds of exciting stops along the way.

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