How to Open a Bank Account Without a Photo ID?
It is not possible to open a bank account without a photo ID in the UK, whether it’s a traditional bank or a digital one.
Customers of financial institutions are subjected to identity checks so that the institutions can remain in compliance with regulations on the prevention of fraud and the laundering of illicit funds.
As a result, you might not be able to establish credit or create bank accounts due to a lack of appropriate identity. Banks adhere to strict protocols to verify your identity before allowing you to open a bank account.
It is a fundamental aspect of anti-fraud policies serving to protect you as well. It is crucial to prevent unauthorized individuals from opening a bank account in your name.
Even digital-only banks follow these guidelines. As part of the verification process, you will usually need to upload a photo of your identification and a video or a picture of yourself, whether opening an account using an app or an online platform. However, there are some alternative solutions.
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Documents needed to open a bank account
Banks require a specific set of documents to verify your identity and prevent fraudulent activities and money laundering.
This precautionary measure is understandable because probably no one would want someone else opening a bank account in their name.
Financial institutions typically require a government-issued photo identification document, such as a passport or UK driving licence. These are one of the primary identifying documents.
Additionally, many banks may ask for utility bills to establish your residential address. Other acceptable proofs of address include HMRC tax notifications, council tax bills, or benefit letters. You can use it to open a cash account.
However, banks often accept a birth certificate as an identity-valid document from customers younger than 18 years old.
Presenting proof of address documents expands the range of savings account options available to you with a UK bank. It may also enable you to obtain a debit card and access your current account online.
How to open a bank account without a photo ID?
Typically, a valid passport or driving licence would be accepted as identification to open a bank account. However, if you don’t possess these documents, there are alternative forms of ID that banks may consider:
In addition to the council tax bill, credit card statement, and utility bill, any other government-issued documents with your full name, residence, and date of birth will suffice to create a bank account.
Additionally, a copy of your original Birth Certificate or National Insurance Card may be acceptable.
HMRC tax notification
The letter, received from HMRC at the end of the tax year, providing information about your tax payments and any discrepancies, can be used as a form of ID.
Electronic checks via a credit reference agency
If your identity has already been verified through a credit reference agency and your credit reports contain sufficient information, you may apply online for a current account with a traditional bank without additional ID forms.
Biometric residence permit (BRP)
You can get this document when you apply for a visa to stay in the UK for over six months.
The fact that your image, fingerprints, and immigration status are included on the document increases the likelihood that financial institutions would accept it as a valid form of identification.
Home office documents
An Immigration Status Document or an Application Registration Card (ARC) issued by the Home Office can be used to open a bank account.
Blue disabled drivers pass
Blue disabled drivers pass, also known as a ‘Blue Badge,’ this document is issued by the council and allows individuals with disabilities to park closer to their destinations.
Benefits entitlement letter
The office is responsible for distributing benefits issues a benefits entitlement letter. The benefits entitlement letter can serve as a form of ID and help you open a bank account.
Please note that the acceptance of these alternative IDs may vary between different banks. It may be easier to open a bank account with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank as opposed to a digital-only bank if you have these other kinds of ID, especially if they are less conventional (such as a benefits letter).
Remember that many of these alternative documents may require an ID for their application.
But if you lose your passport or the bank doesn’t accept expired documents and you need to open a bank account quickly before you can acquire a replacement, they can still come in handy.
What bank account can you open without an ID?
Several high street banks offer accounts designed for individuals facing financial difficulties, poor credit history, or lacking a steady address. These bank accounts can be more accessible for those without traditional credit checks or forms of identification.
HSBS is one of the high street banks. It partners with charities like Shelter to assist individuals without a fixed address through its No Fixed Address program. It is available in selected branches, and eligibility requires experiencing housing or homelessness difficulties and receiving support from partner charities.
Alternatively, if you have a UK or EU address, you can apply for HSBC’s basic bank account, which is tailored for those trying to get approved for an account elsewhere due to financial problems or a bad or poor credit record elsewhere.
HSBC also offers assistance through its program for those without a fixed address, and Lloyds provides options for individuals who don’t have a UK passport or driving licence.
Metro Bank typically accepts a valid passport, EU national ID card, or UK driving licence as sufficient identification for UK, EEA, or Swiss nationals. Non-UK, European Economic Area, or Swiss nationals must present a valid passport, a biometric residence permit, proof of address and a current visa.
However, you can still apply for cash withdrawals from Metro Bank’s Cash Account if you can’t provide the requested documents. It has alternative requirements for specific situations like international students, asylum seekers, or individuals in care homes or sheltered accommodation.
A UK passport or driving licence is usually sufficient for opening a UK bank account with Lloyds. If you don’t have these papers, you’ll need to give two different documents for evidence of identification and proof of address.
Lloyds accepts alternative ID forms such as a current EU/EEA passport, photo driving licence or identity card, HMRC tax notification, bank statement, student visa, and utility bill. However, you may be eligible for a student account or Lloyds’ basic cash account if you don’t qualify for their main accounts.
Similar to Lloyds, TSB accepts various forms of ID, including “old-style” UK paper driving licences, HMRC tax notification, shotgun or firearms licences, notice of coding, or benefits/state pension letters. Non-UK nationals can provide a Biometric Residence Permit or a current passport with a valid UK visa.
Individuals under 18 can open an account with a birth certificate or UK Medical Card/Certificate. Nonetheless, the bank may offer their basic if you don’t meet the requirements for TSB’s main accounts.
These alternative ID requirements may vary. It’s crucial to check with these high street banks for specific details. It’s worth noting that some high street banks, like Metro Bank, may not require photo ID but will require additional proof of address.
Pre-paid debit cards
By pre-loading funds onto a payment card, you can utilize it similarly to a traditional banking card. Pre-paid cards, however, are not subject to regulation by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and may have associated monthly fees for withdrawals.
These cards enable you to receive funds from friends and family, which you can then withdraw as cash from most ATMs. Some pre-paid card options that can be opened online with minimal identification include Wise, Cashplus, and Pockit.
Can I open a Lloyds bank account without a photo ID?
No, you can’t open a no-ID bank account at Lloyds Bank. Most banks, including Lloyds, typically require a government-issued photo ID as part of their account opening requirements. However, you can always contact your bank to discuss the possibility of opening a bank account in your specific case.
Can you get a Monzo account without a photo ID?
Monzo, like most banks, usually demands a valid photo ID as part of the account opening procedure. It helps verify your identity and comply with regulatory requirements.
It may be hard to open a Monzo online account even without a photo ID. However, it is advisable to check with Monzo for their specific requirements and any possible alternatives they may offer.
Can you get a bank account without ID or proof of address?
In general, it is hard to open a bank account without confirming identity and residency. These requirements help banks comply with regulations and prevent fraud. However, you can consider using alternative forms of ID to open a bank account.
Moreover, if you don’t have proof of address, there are alternative options available for opening a UK bank account, particularly with certain non-traditional banks like Starling Bank or Monzo. These banks conduct address and credit history checks but may have more flexible requirements than traditional banks.
Here are some scenarios where you might consider opening an account with a bank that doesn’t require a UK address:
Homeless individuals. Homeless citizens can obtain an online address from a virtual address service provider to receive vital letters regarding benefits and employment. You can use this virtual address to open a bank account.
International students. Banks are often willing to accept applications from international students as long as they can provide proof of their UK study status.
Digital nomads. Digital nomads may open a virtual bank account without an address identification. Alternatively, they can utilize a mailing address service provided by a virtual address service provider.
Recent UK residents without a permanent address. Some challenger banks may allow individuals who have recently moved to the UK without a permanent address to open a bank account without requiring proof of address. However, usually, they have to provide an immigration status document.
What can I do if my ID is refused?
If a bank or financial institution refuses to accept your ID, there are several steps you can take.
Contact the bank or financial institution for an explanation.
Understand their specific requirements and reasons for the rejection. They may be able to guide alternative forms of identification or additional documents you can provide.
Provide alternative identification.
Inquire about whether the local authority or bank accepts other forms of identification. They may have a list of acceptable documents you can provide instead of the rejected ID. It might contain a passport, driving licence, birth certificate, social security card, or other government-issued identifying documents.
Speak with a supervisor or manager.
If you are still facing difficulties, request to speak with a supervisor or manager at the bank. They may make exceptions or provide further guidance on resolving the issue.
Consider alternative banks or financial institutions.
If you can’t resolve the issue with the bank that refused your ID, explore other banks or financial institutions. They may have different requirements or be more flexible in accepting identification documents.
Seek legal advice if necessary.
If you believe your identification is valid and the bank has unreasonably refused it, consider seeking legal advice to understand your rights and explore possible recourse.
Remember, specific procedures and requirements may vary depending on the bank and your location. It’s essential to communicate directly with the bank or seek professional advice for personalized guidance in your situation.
Can I use my driving license to open a bank account?
A driving license can be an acceptable form of identification to open a bank account in some cases. Banks often accept government-issued identification documents and a driving license issued by the relevant authorities is typically considered a valid form of identification.
However, it is critical to recognize that particular criteria may differ between institutions and states. Some banks may require additional documents or forms of identification besides the driving license.
Check with a particular bank or financial institution where you wish to open a bank account to confirm that they accept a driving license as an acceptable form of identity.