In most US banks, it’s not possible to open a free online bank account without ID. However, some banks allow it but they require Social security number or ITIN number to open a free online bank account.
In a hurry?
Listen to this audio summary
“Do I need an ID for opening an online bank account?” has always been a big question for many. However, fewer resources provide the exact answer. So, this topic remains a point of discussion for a lot of people.
However, don’t worry, I am here to help. Because in this post I am going to discuss if it’s really possible to create a free online bank account without ID and all the relevant topics.
Can I Open A Free Online Bank Account Without ID?
Yes, it’s possible to open a free online bank account without ID. However, only a few banks allow it.
Though it is possible for you to open bank account online without ID. But it will require some sort of government verification in the US. There is no way you can open a bank account no ID verification. So, what documents do you need to open a free online bank account without ID?
Required Documents For a Free Online Bank Account
For opening a free online bank account you will require
- Your Social Security Number
- Your current residential address
- Diver’s License as a secondary ID
- A valid email address
- Co-applicants personal information( if any)
These are the requirements for opening an online account in most banks. However, some of these might get excluded in some banks. But Social Security Number and Government verified Photo ID are a must for most banks. The Government verified IDs include
- A valid passport,
- Valid Diver’s License
- Municipal identification cards
Some banks might ask for a secondary ID too. So, it’s quite difficult to open an online bank account without an ID.
What Bank Account Can I Open Online Without ID?
Some banks do not require a photo ID for opening an online account. So, in these banks, you can provide alternative documents to open a free online bank account without an id. Here is the list of traditional banks that let you let you do online banking without ID
Bank Of America
Bank of America let you open an online account without ID. But you must submit your ITIN number to open the account.
No photo ID is required. But you will need to provide an official document with your address and verify your address. Might ask for your SSN.
You don’t need any photo ID or passport. But you will require SSN.
Don’t require an ID but they will ask for SSN and ITIN.
These are the only traditional banks that don’t require ID. Apart from them, some credit unions and local banks allow you to open a basic bank account online without ID.
Furthermore, some shadow banks might allow you to open an online bank account no ID. As they have less government oversight.
However, it’s not suggested to open an account in any unknown shadow banks. Because these banks have a habit of running away with customers’ money.
Moreover, some virtual banks allow you to open an account without ID. Let’s have a look at some of the easiest bank accounts to open without ID.
Easiest Bank Account to Open Without ID
Among the online banks that don’t require ID the below ones are the easiest bank account to open without ID
- Bank Of America
You can also open bank account online without ID in some of the virtual money apps such as
- Cash App
You will require only a valid phone number or email to do online banking without ID in these apps. However, you might need to verify to withdraw money. So you can only open a basic bank account online without ID here.
Can I Open a Bank Account With a Birth Certificate?
As an adult, You can not open a bank account with a birth certificate. However, if you are under 18 years old, you may be able to open a bank account with a birth certificate and a parent or legal guardian as a co-signer.
In the United States, a birth certificate is typically not enough to open a bank account. Banks are legally required to comply with federal regulations that require them to verify the identity of their customers. ‘
However, in case you are under 18 then it might be possible to open an account with a birth certificate. But you must have your legal guardian co-sign the account. But this may vary depending on the bank and state. So it’s best to contact the bank directly to find out whether they accept birth certificates or not.
Also, check Can you open a bank account with an expired ID?
Well, by now we have found out that it’s possible to open online checking and savings accounts without ID in some traditional and virtual banks. But can you open a bank account without SSN or TIN?
Can You Open Bank Account Online without SSN or ITIN?
It is possible to open a bank account without SSN or ITIN in both traditional and virtual banks. However, your options will be limited. Because most banks only allow immigrants to open an account without SSN or ITIN. Moreover, in case you want to open a bank account without SSN or ITIN then you need to choose between opening a bank account without photo ID or SSN.
Banks ask for SSN or ITIN for secondary verification and to keep track of your earnings. So, most banks require an SSN or ITIN. However, there are a few banks that don’t require it.
So, here I am providing a list of traditional banks, credit unions, and virtual banks where you can open an online account without SSN or ITIN
- Wells Fargo
- Self-Help Federal Credit Union
- Alliant Credit Union
- Latino Credit Union
Though these banks don’t require ITIN/individual taxpayer identification number or SSN however, these banks and credit unions will ask for additional information and documents for secondary verification to open a checking account. But the rules can be different for savings accounts in many instances. They might ask for your credit score when opening a savings account.
Here is a List Of Virtual Bank Accounts That Don’t Need SSN
So, before going to one of these banks or credit unions please ask their customer service what will you require.
Now, let’s have a look at why you can’t open an online bank account without ID in most banks.
Why Online Banking Without ID Is Not Always Possible?
There are 2 particular acts that prohibit customers from opening an online bank account without ID. They are
- KYC Rule
- Patriot Act
First, let’s learn about KYC.
The KYC or Know Your Customer rule is the US and international AML or anti-money laundering rule. It encourages financial institutions like banks to always know and verify the identity of the customer or business. It is also done for reviewing the suitability and risk involved in the business relation. KYC was made mandatory for all US Banks on October 26, 2002.
The KYC rule is followed even in offshore banks. Currently, the IRS has agreements with 56 countries. So, you will require a notarized copy of your passport even if you try to open an online offshore bank. So, it’s not possible to do online banking without an ID even offshore. As a result, id free accounts are so hard to create.
Secondly, let’s have a look at the patriot act.
The USA Patriot Act was mainly created to fight terrorism. According to Section 326 of the patriot act,
“Prescribes regulations establishing minimum standards for financial institutions and their customers regarding the identity of a customer that shall apply with the opening of an account at the financial institution.”
This section is created to stop funding terrorist activity. This is also known as CIP or a customer identification program. As a result, every registered bank must set its own criteria for verifying every customer. There are four criteria for verifying the identity of a customer. They are
- Date of Birth and
- Taxpayer identification number
As primary photo identification can be faked with identity theft. So, the regulatory body suggested secondary photo identification. These secondary IDs include
- Birth certificates,
- Medicare cards,
- U.S. voter registration cards,
- School ID cards, or
- Institutional or military ID.
Though secondary ID is not mandatory for all online bank accounts. However, most banks ask for it.
So, it’s not easy to do online banking no photo ID required. This strong personal identity verification is one of the reasons why almost 10 million Americans do not have a bank account. However, these regulations are for the betterment and security of everyone.
So, what about immigrants and minors. Should they try at bank without ID? or they can open bank account no ID verification?
Verifying the Identity Of Minors And Immigrants For Opening Free Online Bank Accounts
There can be some situations where you do not have a proper photo ID but want to open a free online bank account. So, how do you open an account without an ID? If you face this then you are probably a minor or an immigrant.
To open an online account
1. For Minors
For opening an online bank account for minors, you may have to show your birth certificate or SSN depending on the bank policy. Even if you are a minor and want to make a bank account without id then you will require the identity card or SSN of your parents or legal guardian before signing the minor account.
Opening a bank account before 18 is a good financial decision.
2. For Immigrants
Different banks have different policies for online accounts of immigrants. If you are an immigrant and want to open a bank account, you can use ITIN or your passport for photo verifications.
So, even for immigrants getting a bank account without ID is not possible. As a result, if you are an immigrant and want to make a bank account without ID then you will require ITIN or your passport.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the frequently asked questions.
Can I open a bank account with just my SSN?
No, generally, you cannot open a bank account with just your SSN. Banks typically require two forms of identification, one of which must be a government-issued photo ID. The other form of identification can be a Social Security number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or other document that proves your identity and residency.
However, there are some banks that do allow you to open an account with just an ITIN. These banks typically cater to immigrants or other individuals who do not have an SSN.
Can I open Bank account without driver’s license?
Yes, it is certainly possible to open a bank account without driver’s license. Because driver’s license is one of the many ID cards that are typically accepted by banks to open a new account. You can use your Passport, State ID card, Resident Alien ID and even Military ID for opening a bank account.
So, if you don’t have a driver’s license but want to open a bank account then you can easily open one.
Can I Open a Bank Account Without an ID at Wells Fargo?
No, you can not open a bank account without ID at wells fargo. Check out the Wells Fargo required documents to find out what you will need to open an ID with them.
Does Chime Require ID?
Yes, to open a checking account with chime, you have to provide a government-verified ID. Check out their list of required documents. Though they go through the verification with the help of third parties. However, some sort of identity verification is a must.
How can I open a bank account immediately?
You can open an online checking account instantly. Just follow the below steps
- Find the most suitable online bank for you.
- Go to the bank website or download their app.
- Choose an account type.
- Fill up the online form.
- Provide a photo ID for verification.
- Deposit a small fee(not required everywhere) and it’s complete.
This process does not take more than 15-20 minutes. So, if you follow the above steps then it will be done almost immediately.
Opening a free online bank account without ID is quite hard and not suggested also. Because most reputable financial institutions will not let you open an online bank account without ID, there are some exceptions. But these accounts have either fewer features or more costs.
Moreover, you must be careful while dealing with your money online. So, it’s better and safer to use an ID while opening a bank account online.