Each year a number of people get in touch who are struggling to open a bank account because they don’t have photo ID or letters with their home address that the bank will accept. So this post aims to make a couple of suggestions that might help when it is time to open your first bank account.
Many young people this summer will be opening their first Bank Account. This might be for their SUSI payment, first job, or may just be because it’s one of the usual things you do as you get older. The process of opening a bank account should be straightforward.
- Turn up at a bank
- Fill out some forms
- Give them your money
Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Due to a crackdown on money laundering, banks now have a responsibility to make sure that people opening up bank accounts are really who they say they are.
What do you need to open an account?
To open a new bank account you need Photo ID, like a passport, driver license or an EU identity card. Some might accept the Age Card. You will also need proof of address. This means a letter or something official sent to your house that has your name and your address on it. This could be a bill for electricity, gas etc. A Credit Union statement or Post Office book might do. A letter from the Revenue or something from the social welfare office may also be ok. A mobile phone contract won’t do.
Each bank should be able to give you list of what documents they will accept when it comes to opening your account. They may be slightly different in each bank, so it’s worth checking before your go. We found that their lists weren’t very easy to find online, so we’ve found lists from the main banks so you don’t have to look
So what do you do if you have no Photo ID?
If you have no photo ID, and you don’t have the money or time to get a passport or driver license, and you are too young for an Age Card then you can get a ML 10 Form signed by the Gardai and this can be used.
You can download the form here http://www.portcu.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ML10-ID-Form.pdf or they should have them in the Garda station. Bring along any documents you may have with you to help the Garda be sure of your identity.
And if you don’t have a proof of address?
We frequently hear, “I live with my parents so I have no bills or official letters in my name sent to my address.”
It is not unusual for a young person to not have bills in their name, nor to have worked or a had any official dealings with the government yet. You might have had something with your PPS card, or when applying for a medical card, but if you were not expecting to use it, you may have thrown out any letter than came with the cards.
A tip we got from a bank official was to apply to the revenue office for a P21 end of year statement from the revenue office. Details of how to do this are on the revenue website here http://www.revenue.ie/en/online-services/services/common/request-or-view-your-end-of-year-statement-p21.aspx
Basically you phone your local tax office and they will send one out to you. It won’t take long. Don’t worry if you have never paid tax or had a job, they will write to you telling you that you have paid no tax. This is what you want, as you will then have a letter from the Revenue addressed to you at your house.
So, in summary
- Go to Garda station and get an ML 10 form filled for your photo ID
- Get a P21 in your name sent to your home as your proof of address
Opening a bank account is a bit of a rite of passage – a step along your route to adulthood and the responsibilities that come with it. If you will need to open one in the coming months or even further along, prepare now. Keep some letters, and if you can afford it, get a passport. But if you need to do it now or fairly soon, hopefully the couple of tips above will help. Failing that, talk to the bank staff and get their advice, because they really do want your money.