What Do I Need to Open a Checking Account?

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To open a checking account there are certain things you need and certain requirements you must meet. Banks require you to have the appropriate identification and the funds necessary to open a checking account.

Identification

  • When you get ready to open a checking account, banks will require you to have picture identification. Some banks will require one piece of identification and other banks two. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver's license, military identification, passport or a state identification.

Personal Information

  • You will also need to provide the bank representative with personal information such as name, address, home phone, address, date of birth, and Social Security number.

Deposit

  • Most checking accounts can be opened with an initial deposit in the range of $50 to $100. This requirement can vary from bank to bank.

ChexSystems

  • You should also have a clear track record when it comes to dealing with previous banks. In other words, you should not be listed on ChexSystems, which is a credit reporting agency that lists the names of consumers who have abused their banking privileges in the past. You may be reported to ChexSystems if you had insufficient funds fees, or other fees, that you did not pay. Taking part in fraudulent activities is another way to get reported to ChexSystems.

Time Frame

  • Once reported to ChexSystems you remain in their database for five years. When you are reported to ChexSystems, some banks will open a checking account for you, once you pay the fees, even though the five-year time frame has not expired. Some banks just want you to pay the fees owed before they open a checking account for you.

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