Can I Use My Passport to Open a Checking Account?

You need valid ID to open a checking account.

When you open a new checking account, you must provide a valid form of photo identification to prove your identity and verify the account. Many people opening a new checking account simply use a driver's license, but if you prefer you can use your passport to prove your identity as well


Identification Requirements

You must present a valid form of photo identification when you open a checking account. When you seek to open a new account, the bank is required by law to obtain a valid form of photo ID. That photo ID can be a driver's license, but it can also be a passport, since that document contains a photo of the holder and complete identifying information. The passport must be valid and not expired in order to use it to open a checking account.


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Online Application

You may not be able to use a passport if you open your account online. The online checking account application lists a number of required fields, with identification being one of them. This identification field typically accepts driver's license information, including the driver's license number, the state where it was issued and the expiration date. Some online checking account applications include a drop-down box for passport information as well, but not all do. If you want to use your passport as your identification, you may have to open the account in person or over the telephone.


Copy of Document

When you present your passport as identification for your new checking account, the bank representative will make a copy for their records. The copy of your passport will go into your account, where it can be used to verify your account or answer any questions about your identification.


Account Verification

In addition to your driver's license, passport or other photo identification, you must provide the bank with further information to open your account. For instance, you must give the bank your full name and address, as well as a contact phone number the bank can use to verify your information and contact you for additional information. When you open your account, either online or in person, the bank will notify you about any additional information you need to provide.