1. Open a Bank account

Visit the Bank Branch or Website

If you have access to a computer or mobile device and an internet connection, you can  open an account by visiting the institution’s website. Search for the bank online, or visit the website listed on the bank’s marketing materials.

Be careful when you type in the institution’s web address—impostor sites with similar names may exist.

The advantage of opening accounts online is that you can do it at any time, from anywhere. If you’d rather open an account in person, that’s usually an option, although you’ll need to visit the branch during business hours. Before you go, have the following items ready:

  • A government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your physical and mailing address
  • An initial deposit (if required)6

Generally, banks are required to verify your identity when you open an account. If you don’t have a government-issued ID, however, you may be able to use another form of ID. Ask your bank what other forms of identification it can accept.

Similarly, if you don’t have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), some financial institutions will accept a passport number from the issuing country, an alien identification card number, or another government-issued ID number.

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