Learn more about the documents you need to open a bank account and the guidelines that banks must follow when opening new accounts.
Banks in the U.S. are required to verify the identity of every individual who opens a bank account. In compliance with federal regulations, all banks operating in the U.S. have established Customer Identification Programs (CIP) that they must follow for anyone who seeks to open an account. While the specifics of the CIP may vary from one bank to another, U.S. Department of Treasury regulations set forth the following minimum information that banks must obtain from you before allowing you to open an account:
* A non-U.S. citizen must provide one of the following identification numbers:
Each bank establishes its own Customer Identification Program and may ask you for more documentation than is described above.
You should take the following documents with you to open your bank account:
In addition, you should fill out Form W-8 BEN. The W-8 BEN form is necessary to establish that you are not a U.S. citizen and to determine if taxes should be withheld from your account. This form is available at the bank itself or on the Internal Revenue Service website.