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Requirements of Opening a Checking Account

By Crystal Welch ; Updated June 13, 2017

There are a number of items you will need upon opening a checking account. Each financial institution has varying requirements, but the basic information is the same. You need to proof you are who you claim to be. Plus, some information is obtained as security measure to protect your identity, your account and your financial institution.

Photo Identification

In order to open a checking account, you need to have some verifiable personal information that contains a photograph of yourself. Usually this is a driver's license. If you do not have a driver's license, an alternative form of identification may be a state-issued document states Chase. Your photo identification provides proof of residency.

Your photo identification is used to provide the financial institution with your contact information. According to Chase, you need to provide the bank with information about ways to get in touch with you. This information includes your name, address and phone number. Your phone number can be your home and/or work number or your cell phone number cites Chase. If applying online your contact information includes your email address.

Current and Verifiable Address

You need to have a verifiable address in order to open a checking account claims Charles Schwab & Co. A verifiable address may be a post office box. You must have documentation stating this address as proof of identification, if you are opening your account at the financial institution's office. Many times your financial institution may request to see recent utility bills with your printed address on them as additional verification, if you are applying in-person. If you apply online, your address will be verified via the applicable software program in use by the banking institution.

Security Information

Financial institutions will need your social security number for the application process cites Charles Schwab & Co. Many run a credit check prior to you opening a checking account. The bank will make a copy of your social security card for their files. If applying online, your number will be verified by the applicable software program.

You will need to supply your financial institution with your date of birth. Even though located on your driver's license, this personal identifying data will be used by the banking institution as part of their security measures on your account.

Account Qualification

There will be a variety of checking accounts available at your financial institution. Each one will have specified requirements that must be met to open it. Many times, according to Chase, this involves an opening balance and/or monthly expense stipulations. Some accounts require direct deposit transactions. Or, the account may have stipulations involving the use of your institution's debit or credit card on a monthly basis. Be certain to read the account requirements closely to determine which fits your needs best. You also can receive assistance from the banking institution's personnel.

Opening Deposit

Many times, depending upon your preferred financial institution and the type of checking account you choose, an opening deposit is required. This is may be especially true if you open an account online states Chase. Depending upon your chosen checking account, deposits can range from $0.01 on up.

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