Is it Mandatory to Have a Social Security Number to Open an Account?
Banks require that people who want to open a new account present information that verifies who they are. In most cases, this requires both a state ID and a social security number. Also known as an SSN, it is a number assigned to a person who is a resident of the United States.
Many people receive their SSN when their parents register their births through the hospital. Those born at home or in other places may need to contact the government and apply for an SSN. It’s rare for the government to change an individual’s SSN, but it is not always mandatory to have one to open a bank account.
Proof of Identity
One of the main things that the bank requires is proof of identity. Most people provide this through a state ID. Every state in the country allows residents to seek a state ID that shows their name and address along with their date of birth. It is an alternative to a driver’s license. Residents do not need to pass a driving test to get a state ID, but they also cannot legally drive a car. Someone opening a new account can also present their driver’s license.
Do Banks Require an SSN?
The federal government requires that all financial institutions verify the people who use their services. This started after 9/11 as a way to cut down on domestic terrorism. When opening a new account, the person usually needs to either supply their SSN or present their social security card. They also need to use this number when they report their bank account earnings with the IRS and when they make a large deposit or take out a large sum of money. Users also need to supply this number when they apply for credit cards through the bank.
When an SSN Isn’t Required
It is not always required that a consumer give a bank their SSN. According to the experts at SoFi, they can open bank account without SSN as long as they have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This is a number that the IRS gives to individuals who pay taxes but do not qualify for an SSN, such as resident aliens and the families of resident aliens. Those who use an ITIN may also need to supply other information to open an account, like proof of their home address. As per the experts at SoFi, “In the end, the bank must be confident that you are who you say you are before they will open an account.”
Though some assume that only traditional banks require an SSN, online banks do as well. Online banks must follow the same rules as other financial institutions do. Though they often allow people to apply for accounts and set up direct deposits online, they need to submit copies of their driver’s license and other information before they can use their accounts.
It’s hard to function in modern society without a bank account. That account allows the user to send money to friends and family and pay their bills as well as save money. Banks today require either a social security number or an ITIN to open a new account.