Bank accounts provide a number of useful features, from keeping your money safe to earning interest and giving you the ability to write checks or make automatic deposits and withdrawals. However, in some cases you may need to close a bank account. Whether you're seeking an account with better features, moving to a region where your current bank doesn't operate or reorganizing your personal finances, you'll need several documents to close a standard bank account.
If you plan to close a bank account in person at your local branch, you'll likely need to produce identification documents. Identification regulations prevent banks from closing accounts without the account holder's authorization. A driver's license will suffice as proof of identity in most cases. Other identification documents, such as a passport, military ID or non-driver photo ID card will also allow you to prove to the bank that you are the account holder.
Account Number Documents
Documents that list the account number for the bank account you wish to close are also essential to the process. In some cases, you may be able to submit a request to close an account by mail without producing an identification document. However, you'll still need to produce the account number so that the bank can identify the account and ensure that the name and address where you request a check for the money in the account matches the information on file at the bank. Account numbers appear on bank account statements, deposit slips, summaries and the initial opening documents you received when you first started the account.
Statements and Ledgers
Prior to closing a bank account, you will need to ensure that all outstanding checks have been cashed and all deposits are available in your account. You can verify this by balancing your account using the latest account statement and your own ledger for tracking debits and credits within the account. If you have outstanding checks that appear in your ledger but are not yet on your statement, you'll need to wait for them to clear before closing the account or risk the checks bouncing when someone attempts to cash or deposit them. Likewise, paychecks from your employer will be returned if he attempts to deposit them into a closed account, leaving you with additional steps to secure your money and direct it to your new account.
New Account Documents
In many cases, the easiest way to close a bank account is by first preparing a new account to serve the same ongoing needs as the account you're about to close, such as writing checks for bills and receiving direct paycheck deposits automatically. If you follow this strategy, you'll need your new account information, such as a new ledger with your account number or an online account summary that you can view on your computer. These documents will allow you to transfer or deposit funds from the account you close and keep track of your personal budget as you transition between accounts.