Social Security Numbers (SSN) and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number hold all the information every bank will want to know about you and decide if you can hold an account with them. The Social Security Administration has assigned over 450 Million SSN to users, so most banks will demand this in order for you to hold an account with them.
Banks in the United States will want to verify your identity before you hold an account with them and they can get all they need from your SSN (for citizens and some residents) or ITIN (for non residents and established businesses) for verification.
Local banks and some few U.S. virtual banks require you to provide SSN to identify you and open your bank account. And if you just moved into the US, you will be looking to open a bank account without ID verification since you just moved in the territory. Most guys out there even look for ways to open a new bank account with passport as verification. Well all of that should be possible but if and only if, you do not have any issues with the law as it can get you penalized by living in the U.S without a bank account which can be somehow frustrating.
There is no law that will prevents any bank to open bank accounts for those that do not have SSN or ITIN. So it is very possible to open a bank account without SSN or ITIN online.
So if however you were asked, Do you need a social security card to open a bank account in the U.S? you should be able to answer a big "No". Because there are many banks that offer banking solutions for those not in possession of SSN or ITIN. Non residents get to open a free U.S. virtual bank account and that is fully done without SSN since they aren't residents to apply for an SSN card.
It is important to highlight that not all U.S residents are eligible for an SSN. So banking solutions for these category of people should exist.
The magic question now is; how do I open a free U.S virtual bank account without SSN. The ideal plan for a start is just to go in for some Googling which I think is what brought most of you here.
Well if you have been asking yourself, if you can open a bank account without Social Security Number (SSN) or ITIN in the United States or even in any European country, then you are in the right place as we will show you how to open a free U.S. bank account online without SSN or ITIN required for verification. We will mention some U.S. online banks that will let you hold an account with them without your providing an SSN or ITIN to open your account.
What is a Virtual Bank Account?
A virtual bank account is an online bank account that gives you the ability to transfer funds, request money via check or ACH, and deposit checks by taking a picture of them. How do these types of accounts differ from what some might call a "traditional" bank account?
When it comes to virtual bank accounts, there are no checks or physical money that you transfer. The virtual bank account can be used to make transactions online, over the phone, via the mobile app, etc. Transactions are debited from your virtual account using what’s called an ACH.
Opening an bank account (online or at a local bank branch) is one of the first financial steps you may want to take after arriving in the United States. Checking and savings accounts are two types of deposit accounts that offer a safe place to save and easily access your money.
Most often to hold a bank account in the United States, you will need a SSN. Virtual banks such as Wise will also require you to provide SSN to verify your identity. Not everyone is eligible for an SSN and lets see who exactly are eligible for this Social Security Number.
Who is Eligible for SSN?
Most U.S. citizens are hold SSN and so are eligible to apply for a bank account from any bank be it a traditional or online bank. Citizens less than 18 years are not eligible for SSN. You need to be a US citizen with a clean history meaning; you must not have complications with the law.
U.S. residents that just migrated into the United States will need to have a resident permit and must have stayed for sometime in the United States before being eligible to apply for SSN. The State government during this period of time will check if you can comply with their law and regulations before qualifying you as eligible for SSN.
However, this doesn't mean you cannot open a United States bank account without Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). There are some few banks and credit unions that will let you open a bank account in the United States without providing SSN or ITIN.
Why you do not need an SSN for US Banks
Some few years back, it was pretty easy to find banks that do not need SSN or ITIN to open a bank account in the US. But now, a lot of things have changed in the banking industry and many banks will require you to have a the SSN or ITIN to open a bank account.
Those holding bank accounts that were opened once before without ITIN might be at risk because the bank may decide to close them up at anytime if they do not verify that information.
So if you have a bank account that was not opened with an ITIN then, consider applying for one at ITIN.com to keep your account from risks of closure.
CHECK ALSO: How to Open A Bank Account Online in Europe
Can I get a checking account without a social security number?
You are not required to have a social security number to open a checking or savings account.
To open a checking or savings account, the bank or credit union will need to verify your name, date of birth, address, and ID number. An ID number can be a social security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). To get an ITIN, you will need to fill out a form with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) .
If you don’t have a U.S. government-issued SSN or ITIN, some banks and credit unions will accept a passport number and country of issuance, an alien identification card number, or other government-issued ID number.
Visit different banks and credit unions to find out what types of accounts they offer, and what types of ID numbers they accept.
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How to Open a Bank Account Without SSN or ITIN
Many international banks such as Citibank or Bank of America may be able to help you get started with the account opening without SSN. However, even some local banks or credit unions (nonprofit financial institutions that offer bank-like services) may have accounts for people without SSNs. Also, look into international banks that are based in your home country and have branches in the U.S., such as TD Bank for Canadians or HSBC if you’re from the UK.
If you have an established business, and want to open a business bank account in the United States, you will need to provide your ITIN to identify your business and show that it is registered.
Opening a Bank Account Online Without ID Proof?
In the United States, you will find it difficult to open a bank account without ID if you are not a resident. As a US resident without SSN, you will need to provide your ID or password for verification. The bank will need a way to identify you so you gonna definitely need that.
However, the case might be different in the UK as you can open a bank account in UK without ID proof for verification. Here are some 2 options you have for opening an account without ID:
1. The first option is to use your regular walk-in bank, which refers to Barclays, Lloyds and other banks.
2. The second option is to use technology, usually through mobile phone payment systems. Most mobile payment systems keep the entry criteria quite flexible. However, to get a phone connection in the UK, you need an address. Also, this comes with an inflexible capping. We don’t consider this one to be a viable option for most people.
We have pointed out many banks that will let you open a bank account without you providing an SSN.
CHECK ALSO: How to Open a SEPA European Bank Account Online
List of Banks That Don’t Require an SSN to Open A US Bank Account
With many changes applied to the banking world, there are only a few banks that let you open a US bank account without ITIN. These banks are;
- Bank of America
- Wells Fargo
- Cheese Online bank
Oh yes, Bank of America let's you open a bank account without SSN. However, you will need to provide.
Where they are still opening up bank accounts, personal bank accounts to be specific, without an individual, having an ITIN and or an SSN. And then having the account holder fill out a W-8BEN for tax exemption.
CHECK ALSO: Get Instant Virtual Debit Cards Online for Free
Opening US Bank Account Without ITIN Number
Banks accepts ITIN in place of SSN for those that do not have SSN number but do not worry, it is still possible to open a US bank account even without the ITIN.
Within a period of 3 to 5 years, all banks will require you to provide your Tax ID. This is because every year, banking policy change and get complicated.
You can book a call at this banking service to open both a personal and business bank account online and remotely without SSN or ITN. Till date, you can definitely open up a US bank account without having a Social Security Number. Since banks can accept ITIN in place of SSN to open US bank accounts, it is a great news for non US citizens.
Opening a Bank Account With Passport
Cheese will let you open a bank account online with your passport and will not require you to provide your SSN if you do not have. They provide free US virtual bank accounts for residents having a passport, US Visa and a US address.
Open Bank Account With Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is a necessity for most banks to hold an account with them. When visiting a bank to open an account, make sure you go along bring your birth certificate or valid passport and proof of address with you to the DMV. Other forms of government-issued ID include a valid passport or a U.S. military identification card. Just check with the bank to make sure these are acceptable.
How to Get a Free US Bank Account Without SSN - Using Cheese Online bank
Cheese is an online bank that offers banking solutions to those that do not have an SSN and will want to hold a free U.S bank account. Cheese is one of the best banks to open a U.S. bank account online with passport.
Though there are many online bank account with instant virtual debit cards, Cheese let you open a free US online bank account with instant virtual debit card without using SSN to open the account.
- No SSN Required
- International Wire Transfer
- No Monthly Fee
- No ATM Fee
- No Overdraft Fee
- No Insufficient Fund Fee
- No Minimum Balance Requirement
- No Int. Incoming Wire Transfer Fee
- $5 Cash Bonus
- Up to 3% Saving Bonus
- Early Paycheck
- Funds are FDIC Insured
Since you do not have an SSN to open an account, you will need to provide the following information to hold a free online bank account with Cheese:
Requirements to Open a Free US Bank Account Without SSN
- Valid US address
- Valid US visa
- Your passport.
Procedure to Open a Free US Bank Account Without SSN
Cheese lets you open and manage your bank account from their mobile application. The process and straight and simple:
- Download the Cheese Mobile App for Android and iOS.
- Follow the steps shown to open the account.
- If you don’t have a SSN, you will be asked to provide a valid US address, a valid US visa, and your passport. Simply follow the steps laid out for you on the screen and you should be good to go in a matter of minutes.
While your physical debit card will be arriving in the mail within 7-10 business days, you will be able to use your virtual debit card immediately. To learn how to deposit funds into your Cheese account to start using your card, check out their guide How to Deposit Funds Into Your Cheese Account.
How to Get Free Virtual Debit Card Without SSN
Most virtual debit cards don’t require a SSN. They instead require an ITIN number or, in the case of the Cheese Debit Card, just a valid US address, visa, and your passport. You may also consider virtual prepaid credit cards, which allow you to deposit money into your virtual wallet and pay via an app.
Final Thoughts On How to Open a Bank Account Without SSN or ITIN
Though is is hard to find, we have shown you the best banks that allow you to open a bank account in the United States without SSN or ITIN. The requirements for each bank will defer.
For most residents that do not have SSN, they can open a US bank account with passport. Citizens that do not have SSN can also open a bank account without SSN or ITIN.
However, it can be very difficult to open a bank account without ID since each bank will need something important from you that identifies you fully. Cheese makes things easy to open a bank account online without SSN or ITIN and let you hold a bank account with instant virtual debit card. And plus, they will mail a physical debit card to your mail for better management of your finances.