Opening an American Bank Account

Opening an American bank account is not difficult. It is more time consuming than anything. To properly open an account, there are a number of items you need to have available. Each financial institution (bank) has its own requirements for opening an account. Call ahead to find out exactly what each needs. Overall, there are some basic items you need. You need to have the following items available upon request. In all cases, valid means current. The bank may ask for any of the following when opening a bank account:

Ã?· A valid official photograph identification. Usually, this is a driver’s license. This way the bank representative can be certain you are who you say you are. It needs to contain your name, address, and have an expiration date on it.

Ã?· Valid Driver’s License. Once again, this is from the country you are coming from. It must contain your photograph, address, and date of birth. It must also be current as of the date you plan on opening your bank account.

�· A current passport from the country you are coming from. This should contain a photograph, also. The passport cannot be expired at the time you are opening your new bank account. Some banks will accept your passport and not require another form of photo identification. Once again, ask first.

�· A valid credit card. A valid credit card is any legitimate credit card with your name. It must have an expiration date that is current at the time of your opening the new bank account. Major credit cards accepted worldwide include VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. Check with your potential bank to be certain they accept yours. Some banks accept American Express, some do not. All will accept VISA and MasterCard.

�· A valid bankcard. A bankcard is also known as a cash card or debit card. It would be from the bank of your originating country. It must have your name on it, along with an expiration date. It must be current as of the date of your opening the new bank account.

�· Date of birth. Your date of birth will be needed to further prove you are who you claim to be. Having your Birth Certificate available can prove this.

Ã?· Your mother’s maiden name. This is needed, usually, for security purposes. This information will be put onto your account. Only the bank employees and you will know this information, hopefully. When you have a question on your account, this is one of the ‘secret questions’ the bank will ask. They use this to ascertain that you are really you.

�· Utility bills, phone bills, other bills. These bills are used sometimes to proof your address. You need to have a current address to open an American bank account. This applies to all banks. It is recommended to take at least one utility or phone bill with you, just in case.

�· Social Security card. If your country has a social security card, bring it. This is another form of identification used as proof of who you claim to be. If you do not have one, ask the bank what other forms of identification are acceptable.

Prior to visiting your preferred bank, place all the needed information in an envelope. This makes it available easily and conveniently.

In short, as mentioned above, American banks differ in their requirements for opening an account. Some only require a passport. Others require credit card, passport, and a fee. Ask for literature, or speak to a bank representative to have your questions answered.

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