What Do I Need To Open A Checking Account With Any Commercial Bank?

You’ve probably heard that it is pretty easy to open a checking account at any commercial bank. But you keep asking yourself this question “What do I need to open a checking account with any commercial bank?” First, let us find out what a checking account is before going any further.

A checking account lets you deposit cash, write checks, withdraw, and pay bills. The account also comes with a debit card to help you bank through the ATM (automated teller machine) even when banks are closed. After choosing your preferred bank, fill out your details on the forms provided.

You will be asked to present certain documents to prove your identity. Ensure you have the right documents to avoid getting irritated by long delays because of presenting wrong identification documents.

You can open a personal checking account here, after familiarizing yourself with the below requirements.

Plan For A Smooth Process

Generally, banks have very few requirements to open an account. You must be 18 years or more; however, most banks do allow minors to open accounts. Minors can only have a jointly held account with a parent or guardian. Also, ensure you don’t have any criminal records associated with financial crimes or fraud.

You may fail at this attempt if a different bank has previously terminated your account because of unpaid overdrafts or mismanagement. You must provide the right documentation to have a smooth account opening process.

Acceptable Identification Documents For Banks

Normally, you only need to have one identification card with a photo on it, but some banks may need two. When you hear the words “government-issued ID,” it covers the following documents:

  • Actual ID card
  • DoD ID card
  • Driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate

The bank will not have any issues if you can provide at least two of these documents.

Initial Deposit Requirements

Almost all banks will want an initial deposit; however, this requirement varies from one bank to another and the type of account. While some banks may need an initial deposit of at least $25, others only need a minimum deposit to evade fees. However, there is hardly any savings account that requires a preliminary minimum deposit.

It would be prudent for you to check if the potential bank needs a minimum balance for opening a savings account. The initial deposit can be financed with cash, cheque, credit or debit card, electronic transfer, or money order.

Requirements For Opening A Bank Account Online

Most banks provide online banking services which let you execute financial transactions from wherever you are. The requirements for opening a checking account online are still the same. You will need to provide your identification documents, a mailing address, and your birth date.

Fortunately, many banks will take an electronic signature with your application. You won’t be required to drop or mail forms; however, bank policies can vary. You can transfer the minimum opening deposit if the bank requires it. To effect the transfer, you must provide information for the account you’re sending from.

Special Considerations

Joint Accounts: Joint accounts require that you and the other person are present. Both you and the other account holder will need to provide the needed documentation to make the process run smoothly. It is assumed that the other account holder has the same responsibility as you for the account balances and fees.

Student Accounts: To open a student account, you must present the required documents as stated above in addition to proof of enrollment in a competent school. Student accounts have certain benefits that include discounted credit card rates and low or no account opening deposits. To access these benefits will require that you present your student ID.

Power Of Attorney: If you need extraordinary signing authority with the account, you must provide a power of attorney to the bank for filing. Power of attorney is a legal document that allows another person to transact on behalf of the actual owner. POAs are mostly used by elderly people, ill or hospitalized patients, or incapacitated people.

You will be surprised at how fast and easy opening a checking account can be, especially when you have all the required documents with you.  Always check for any other requirements the bank may have in addition to the ones discussed herein. You can start with opening a personal checking account with a reliable bank near you.