1. Open a Bank account

Provide Your Information

As you open a new bank account, you’ll need to provide sensitive information to the bank. To protect themselves and comply with regulations such as the Patriot Act, banks can’t open an account without verifying your identity.

You’ll need to provide details like your name, birthday, and mailing address, as well as identification numbers (in the United States, this is most likely your Social Security Number, but you may be able to use an ITIN or another government-issued ID number). You’ll also be asked to present a valid government ID (such as a driver’s license or passport). Again, if you don’t have these, ask your bank what other forms of identification it can accept.

If you’re opening a bank account online, you’ll type this information into a text box. If you set up your accounts in person, be prepared to hand your ID to the banker, who will probably photocopy it for the bank’s records.

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