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Get a Checking Account without a Drivers License

Government rules and regulations require banks to obtain and verify the identification of customers that open a new checking account or obtain other new accounts and services from the bank as well as other financial institutions.  The verification process frequently leads to the bank requesting to see the account applicant’s driver’s license.  New checking account applicants or prospective applicants can be intimated by the process with some prospective customers abandoning the new account process due to the identification requirements.  

Fortunately, there are other ways banks and credit unions can verify a customer’s identity, so if a prospective bank customer doesn’t have a driver’s license they can still open a new checking account.  The driver’s license is simply the most commonly used form of identification when opening a new bank account it is not the only means of doing so.

The requirements to verify the identity of banking customers is the result of The PATRIOT Act.  The PATRIOT Act requires CIPs or customer identification programs be put in place by a financial institutions to prevent financing of terrorist operations and money laundering.  CIP rules require banks and other financial institutions to adopt written procedures to ensure proper identification of new customers. 

The CIP rules allow the banks and other financial institutions flexibility to establish procedures to accomplish the task of identifying new customers and what forms of ID to accept.  A state issued identification card should be acceptable at most banks to open up a new checking account or other bank account.  A valid passport should also be sufficient to open an account in lieu of a driver’s license.  In some cases, a valid form of foreign identification is sufficient. 

When a driver’s license is not available the bank may require additional documents for proper identification and to satisfy the CIP requirements but a driver’s license is not required to open a checking account.

Child Checking Accounts

A checking account for a child is an account that is made available to children with an adult co-owner.  Most banks do not allow children to open a checking account solely as an individual.  In order for a child to open a checking account an adult co-owner must sign on the account.  In general, minors are not allowed to enter into contractual obligations and therefore cannot open and hold a checking account on their own.

When a parent or guardian is looking to open a checking account for a child the main task is to find out the right bank or service provider for opening a bank account for the minor.  Just like a traditional checking account, a checking account for a child is maintained at a bank and can be accessed by writing a check, using an ATM card, or by visiting the bank.  With many banks, money in the checking account can be also transferred online with an account outside the bank or to another account within the same institution.

There are a number of banks to choose from that offer checking accounts for children.  Most banks include standard bank checking account features such as a free debit card, bill payment, online banking, and mobile banking with a children’s checking account.

Choosing the right checking account for a child to use is an essential step in the child’s financial independence and avoids any unnecessary headaches for the parent or guardian that is the account co-owner.  A first good starting point is to check with the bank you use to see what kind of kid’s accounts they offer.  Some banks offer accounts in the name of the child while others offer custodial accounts.  Still some banks provide for joint accounts in which you are the joint owner of the account along with your child.

As with any new financial product or bank product, the guardian or parent should review the terms and conditions before opening the account and then wherever needed, provide the necessary identification and authorizations as required.  Provide your signatures wherever required and allow the child to learn and enjoy the benefits of good financial management.  The checking account should serve the purpose of teaching young account holder the financial basics, as well as the power of savings for their future.

What is a Custodial Account

A custodial account can be one of the least complicated tools for establishing a savings or investment account for a minor.  The custodial account allows parents, family members and guardians to transfer assets to a minor, often without a lot of paperwork or complications.

Custodial accounts are referred to as either a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act account (UTMA) or Uniform Gift to Minors Act account (UGMA) depending in which state the minor the account is set up for resides in.  Which one of the accounts can be opened for a minor or child is dependent on the state residence of the minor.  One difference between these two types of custodial accounts is with a UGMA, the minor can receive the asset(s) in the account at 18 years of age and with an UTMA accounts, the minor will receive the asset(s) held in the account at 21 years of age

Some of the highlights regarding a custodial account include:

The assets or funds held in the custodial account are managed by the custodian and then transferred to the minor at the time he or she becomes a legal adult.   The funds can be used for the benefit of the minor at any time.

Anyone, including friends and relatives, can contribute to the custodial account.

The custodial account allows the minor to use the assets to help fund their education or for approved other expense.

The money belongs to the minor but is controlled by the custodian until the minor reaches the age of trust termination.  The age of trust termination is generally between the ages of 18 to 21, depending on the state where the minor resides and whether it is an UGMA or an UTMA. 

Once the age of termination is reached, neither the donor nor the custodian can place any restrictions on the use of the money.

The original transfer to a custodial account is an irrevocable gift, the money or assets in the account cannot be transferred back to the parent.  The money can be used to pay expenses for the benefit of the child, so long as the expenses aren’t paying for parental obligations. 

Custodial savings accounts are often established to help save money for college, but it will ultimately be the minor’s decision on how to spend the funds in the account once the minor comes of age.

The income from a custodial account must be reported on the child’s tax return and is taxed at the child’s rate, subject to the IRS Kiddie Tax rules.

Custodial accounts are frequently established at banks and brokerage companies.

Parents, guardians or family members that plan on opening a new custodial account for a minor at a bank should compare and review the rates and term offered to obtain the best interest rate or rate of return on the account.  The minimum amount necessary to open a custodial account at a bank will vary but are generally set with very low minimum requirements.

How to Make a Deposit

In order to get started with a new bank account it will be necessary to make an initial deposit and for most bank customers, they will make subsequent deposits as they use their account over time.  There can be many ways to make a deposit or add money to a bank account.  Common methods for making a bank deposit include: using a bank teller at a local bank branch, sending a bank deposit by mail, submitting the deposit in an ATM, using electronic transfers such as online banking transfers, direct deposits and telephone banking.

Most bank deposits will require that the person making the deposit have some basic information about the account that the deposit will made in, have a deposit slip and the money to be deposited.  Exceptions to those requirements would include mainly the electronic forms of deposits such as wire transfers, online banking, telephone transfers and related actions.

The first step in the process to make a bank deposit is to obtain a deposit slip and fill out the deposit slip for the bank with the required information about the transaction.  The bank where the deposit is being made will provide the appropriate deposit slip or for existing bank customers, they may find deposit slips with their personal information preprinted on them with their checking supplies from the bank.

On the deposit slip, the depositor should write in the amount of the deposit being made, the current date and the account number where the money being deposited should be credited.  The account number ensures that the money is deposited in the correct account.  Depositors that do not have the account number should contact the bank to have the information provided to them.

If the funds being deposited at the bank are in the form of cash, the amount of the cash should be written on the deposit slip.  If the bank deposit includes checks or money orders, these items should be listed separately on the front of the deposit slip with additional lines on the back of the slip for more check amounts if needed.  The total amount of the deposit should then be written in on the appropriate space on the front of the deposit slip.

Depositors that want to receive cash back from the deposit will need to write this amount in on the line of the deposit slip that identifies the cash to be received.  Subtract the amount of cash to be received, if any, on the line identifying the cash amount to be received from the subtotal of the checks, and record the total amount being deposited at the line on the deposit slip indicating the total deposit amount.  If the deposit includes a check or checks with cash back, the depositor will have to sign the deposit slip.

Depositors that make a deposit at a bank in person or via an ATM will be given a receipt showing the date and amount of the deposit.  The deposit receipt should be held on to as verification in the unlikely situation of a bank error and to reconcile the monthly statements.

The Benefits of Bank Checking Accounts

For most bank checking account holders, the benefits of a checking account are clearly apparent but many consumers do not fully appreciate the many benefits that a checking account offers.

One of the distinct benefits of a checking account is the ability to handle financial transactions with the account. Checking accounts can be used to deposit checks, cash checks and pay bills.
A bank checking account allows the account holder to pay bills and transfers funds easily and conveniently with a variety of means.

Although more consumers are using debit cards and online bill payment to handle their financial transactions, not only are checks are still a common and necessary method of payment but online bill payment and debit card transactions are transactions generally made from a checking account.

Bank checking accounts also offer a convenient means of providing proof of payment. A canceled check is a legal document showing that funds have been transferred to another party. With the ability to easily manage payments and deposits, a checking account can also be used to maintain records for better budgeting of expenses and income.

Along with the ability to facilitate budgets, having a checking account gives the account holder the ability to draw or transfer funds easily from one account to another to maximize the benefits of both the transaction account and any interest earning accounts than may be linked to the checking account.

Bank checking accounts provide safe storage of money. FDIC insurance coverage up $250,000.00 on the balance in a checking account protects the money held in the account. By having the ability to write checks with a checking account, electronically transfer funds and use a protected debit card a checking account holder can receive and spend money without the risk of carrying cash.

Having a checking account can help account holders save money. Most banks will accept direct deposit of paychecks and other income making these funds available quickly and saving a trip to the bank. With online banking and electronic bill payment, checking account holders can save the time and money of addressing and mailing payments.

Finding the right checking account or right bank for your checking account may take a little research to ensure that you obtain the best checking account services to meet your needs. Bank checking accounts are offered in a competitive market with a number of banks offering a wide range of features for the consumer to choose.

Checking account monthly fees, minimum balance requirements and interest paid on the account balances will vary measurably between banks. Make sure to choose the best checking account that matches your individual banking needs.

To find information on current checking account promotions see Checking Account Promotions. To find additional information on online bank checking accounts please see Online Checking Accounts or to find information on current bank deals see Bank Deals.

For more information on the top ten savings account rates or money market accoount rates please see Money Market Account Rates, Savings Account Rates at

To see more information on the best online banks refer to Best Online Bank and to see some of the current best online savings accounts see Best Online Savings Account.

Choosing a New Bank Account

Consumers that are looking for new bank account or want to switch bank accounts need to consider severable factors before running to the local bank branch to open an account.

Before opening a new bank account, factors to consider include: how the money in the new bank account will be used, how often the money will be needed, is immediate account access important, is the account for savings and investment purposes or to conduct transactions. Understanding these issues can help narrow down the kind of bank account that is best suited for your needs.

There are many different types of bank accounts for consumers to choose from. Banks offer a wide variety of demand deposit accounts and savings accounts for consumers to choose from. Each of these accounts will be able to provide the account holders different benefits that are better suited for different demands or needs.

Among the many different bank accounts available, the types of accounts generally fall within one of four account categories: checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

A checking account offers a quick and convenient way for people to access their money and make payments or transfer funds. With a checking account, account holders can use checks to withdraw money from the account and conduct a variety of transactions.

Checking accounts vary greatly from bank to bank based on the different features and requirement associated with the account. Some bank checking accounts will have minimum balance requirements. Some accounts earn interest. And some bank checking accounts will have additional features as well as assorted bank fees.

A savings account offers convenient savings vehicle for consumers to save money while maintaining liquidity and safety. With a bank savings account, consumers can make frequent deposits and withdrawals, but the accounts do not offer check writing or the ability to transfer funds to other businesses or unrelated accounts.

Although, the available funds in a savings account can be withdrawn at anytime, the number of withdrawals or transfers that can be made on the account each month is limited.

A money market account combines the features of a checking account and a savings account. Most banks offer this hybrid interest bearing account that allows you to write checks. This type of account usually pays a higher rate of interest than a checking or savings account.

Many money market accounts will require a higher minimum balance to start earning interest, and many bank money market accounts pay higher rates for higher balances. Writing checks from a money market account is not as convenient as writing checks from a checking account. Money market accounts limit transactions to six transfers to another account or to other people, and only three of these transfers can be by check per month.

Often, the highest interest bearing account offered by a bank is a certificate of deposit. Bank certificates of deposit or CDs offer higher yields since the accounts require the depositor to maintain the money in the account for a specified period of time or pay an early withdrawal penalty to gain immediate access to the funds.

Because bank CD account holders have to leave the funds in the account for a specified period, the bank may pay a higher rate of interest than it would for a savings or other bank accounts. Generally, the more money held on deposit in the CD and the longer the term, the higher the CD interest rate will be. Banks offer a variety of certificates of deposit that allow the account holder to choose the length of time, or term, that the money is held on deposit.

To find information on current checking account promotions see Checking Account Promotions. To find additional information on online bank checking accounts please see Online Checking Accounts or to find information on current bank deals see Bank Deals.

For more information on the top ten savings account rates or money market accoount rates please see Money Market Account Rates, Savings Account Rates at

To see more information on the best online banks refer to Best Online Bank and to see some of the current best online savings accounts see Best Online Savings Account.