What Information You Will Need To Provide When Opening A New Checking Account And Why

Many banks are charging high fees to have checking accounts with them. As such, many people are looking to change their financial institution. If you are in this boat, you may be looking to open a new checking account. If it has been some time since you have had to do this, you may be unsure of what you need to provide to the bank, either in person, over the phone or via the Internet, in order to open your account. Here is some of the items you should be ready to provide when opening a new checking account and why this information is required. 

A Valid Government Identification Card

In order to open a new checking account, you have to have a valid government-issued identification card. This can be a state-issued ID or drivers license, a passport or a military identification card. If your ID is expired, the bank will not allow you to open the account. This is to help prevent identity theft, money laundering and terrorists from opening bank accounts. If you do not have a current government-issued ID, you will want to get this taken care of before opening a new account. 

Your Personal Information

When you are signing up for a new checking account, you will have to provide the bank with your personal information. While you likely know your name and address, you may not have your social security number memorized. You will need to provide your current mailing address, your full legal name, your social security number and your date of birth in order to open a checking account. If your name does not match your social security number, because of marriage or divorce, be prepared to bring the correct legal documents with you to substantiate the name change. 

A Deposit

In order to open a new checking account, you will be required to deposit a certain amount into the account. The amount you are required to deposit varies from bank to bank, so always be sure to ask what the minimum deposit requirements are when opening a bank. Also be sure to find out how you can deposit the money. Most banks prefer cash, but may also take a personal check or cashiers check from another bank. Most will not allow you to use a money order or a payroll check for your initial deposit. Lastly, while you can typically use a debit card or credit card to fund an account over the phone or online, most banks will not take this in the bank. 

Knowing what information you need to have available can make opening a new checking account go as smoothly as possible. If you are looking to open a new account, be sure to have a valid ID, know your personal information and have the correct amount for the deposit.