There are no hard and fast rules established by banking regulators regarding the activation or reactivation of a dormant bank account.  A number of states have clear bank regulations requiring banks to escheat or transfer funds to the state if an account is declared dormant but are often ambiguous about the requirements needed to get can account out of dormant status. 

Since, banks would prefer to keep their clients money as well as avoid the paperwork involved with the escheatment process, most banks make the process to activate a dormant account relatively trouble free. 

An account is inactive and then considered dormant if there has not been a debit or credit to the account because of an act by the depositor and the depositor has not communicated with the bank.  Once the bank has made contact with the account owner or the account holder completes a transaction with the account, then the dormant account gets reclassified as normal.

One of the easiest ways to activate a dormant account is to contact the bank’s customer service center or visit one of the local bank branches.  In some cases and some states, verifying the account owner’s identity will be important for the bank to reactivate the account and this can be performed best in person or via phone.

Bank customers that are not monitoring their accounts should be mindful that their bank will most likely charge a fee each month for having a dormant or inactive account, see inactive account fees for more information.

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