One of the most important items a bank representative will ask you for when you come in to open an account is your identification. You must prove who you are before the representative can process the application. But nowadays, you can also open a bank account online. Since you don't have to interact with a bank representative, you may wonder how you can open the account without an ID.
Online Account Application Process
When you apply for a bank account online, the process is fairly straightforward. You must provide your name, address and additional contact information as well as the type of bank account you wish to open (checking, savings, money market or other). The bank needs your Social Security number and date of birth to run a check on your credit and any previous banking relationships. You might also have to enter information on how many transactions you plan to initiate each month (deposits or withdrawals) and your occupation.
Do You Need ID?
As you navigate the online application process, you will need your identification handy to fill out the section that requests your driver's license information. You must provide your driver's license or state identification card number as well as the expiration date and state name. For this reason, you do need a government-issued ID card (the bank may accept a valid passport in some cases) if you want to open an account online.
After you've provided your information and submitted the online application, the bank may require you to fax over a copy of your identification. So this is another reason why you do need an ID to open a bank account -- even if it's online. The bank has to keep a copy of your identification on file just as it would if you were to apply in person. The identification card must show your government-issued ID number, photo and date of birth to verify your identity.
If You Do Not Provide ID
While a bank may open the account immediately after approving the online application, a representative may decide to close it if he does not receive a copy of the identification in a certain period of time. In some cases you cannot start making deposits or withdrawals to the account until you provide physical proof of your identification.