How to Use a Passbook

Keep track of transactions using a passbook.
Keep track of transactions using a passbook. (Image: three spiral notebooks and us dollar background image by Elnur from

A passbook is a small paper book that is used to keep track of balances, transactions and interest earned on a deposit account. A deposit account is set up by a banking institution with the main purpose of holding money for an extended period of time, such as a savings account. Other common deposit accounts are money market accounts and time deposit accounts. Deposit accounts differ from a traditional checking accounts in that they usually pay out interest on funds held in the account and frequent withdrawals are discouraged.

Things You'll Need

  • Active Deposit Account
  • Passbook
  • Bank Teller or Customer Service Representative

Obtaining and Using a Passbook

Set up a deposit account at your local bank. You will need to provide proper identification and deposit a minimum dollar amount in your new account. The requirements vary at each banking institution. Your bank representative will walk you through this process.

Request a passbook. Historically, passbooks were provided by your bank automatically when you set up your account. However, due to increased reliance on digital record keeping, passbooks may not be handed out automatically. Ask a bank representative to provide you with a passbook at the time you open your deposit account. Some banking institutions may charge a nominal fee for using a passbook.

Have a bank teller update your passbook. Passbooks operate similarly to bank statements. Your passbook will need to be updated whenever you make a deposit or withdrawal from your deposit account. Additionally, most deposit accounts pay interest on amounts held in the account. You may choose to have accrued interest recorded in your passbook on a periodic basis. When a bank teller or representative records transactions or interest in your passbook, he or she will initial the entry. You should not write in your passbook.

Keep your passbook in a safe place. Your passbook is an official record of all of the transactions that occur within your deposit account. In the event of a dispute regarding the account, you will need your passbook to prove any mistakes or inaccuracies.

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