Changing your bank account from an individual account to a joint account grants full rights and access to the person you add to your account. Most banks will let you add another person to your account as long as the individual can provide photo identification and a Social Security number. Some banks will allow you to add an individual to your account by accessing your online banking account, while others may require you and the applicant to appear in person at a local branch.
Contact your bank to verify its policy to add an account holder to an existing account. Your bank's customer service telephone number may appear on the front of your checks and should be on the back of your debit card. You can also contact a local branch. Ask whether you need to appear in person or whether the process can be done via Internet, telephone or mail. Also, ask what documents the applicant will need to submit to be added to the account.
Gather the documents required by your bank to add an individual to your bank account. These may include a government-issued photo identification. The applicant will also need a Social Security number and may need to present the card to the bank.
Appear in person at your bank's local branch with the joint applicant. Even if your bank allows online or mailed applications, applying in person typically results in the fastest approval from the bank. Bring all of the required documents and submit them to the bank. The bank will verify their authenticity, make photocopies and return the originals. You will need to provide a signature to authorize the applicant as a joint account holder.
Follow your bank's procedure to apply online, over the phone or through the mail if you do not wish to apply at a local branch. Generally, you may initiate the application online or over the phone, but you will be required to mail in the applicant's identifying documents and a signed form authorizing the change from sole to joint account.
Only add trusted individuals to your account since a joint bank account grants full access of funds to both account holders.