Banking

Opening a Bank Account

Opening a Bank Account. You can open a bank account in Canada if you meet the requirements that are set out in the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations under the Bank Act. You can open a bank account even if:

  • you don’t have a job
  • you don’t have money to put in the account right away, or
  • you have been bankrupt
Acceptable identification required to open a bank account

You must use original, valid identification (ID). Photocopies will not be accepted.

Acceptable Identification

You have 3 choices:

  • Show 2 pieces of ID from List A or
  • Show 1 piece of ID from List A and 1 piece from List B or
  • Show 1 piece of ID from List A and have someone, who the bank knows, confirm that you are who you say you are
List A
  • A drivers’ licence issued in Canada
  • A Canadian passport
  • A Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization
  • A Permanent Resident Card
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Form IMM 1000 or IMM 1442*
  • A birth certificate issued in Canada
  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN) card issued by the Government of Canada
  • An Old Age Security card issued by the Government of Canada
  • A Certificate of Indian Status issued by the Government of Canada
  • A provincial health insurance card or
  • A document or card with your signature and photograph from:
  • The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
  • Alberta Registries
  • Saskatchewan Government Insurance
  • The Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
  • The Department of Transportation and Public Works of the Province of Prince Edward Island
  • Service New Brunswick
  • The Department of Government Services and Lands of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The Department of Transportation of the Northwest Territories or
  • The Department of Community Government and Transportation of the Territory of Nunavut
  • Service Ontario

* Some banks may accept the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) document as acceptable identification. Since this document is not a permissible form of identification under federal law, it is the bank's decision if they will accept it.

List B
  • An employee identity card with a photograph from an employer well known in the community
  • A signed automated banking machine (ABM) card or client card issued by a member of the Canadian Payments Association
  • A signed credit card issued by a member of the Canadian Payments Association
  • A signed Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB) client card with a photograph or
  • A foreign passport

You may be able to show other types of ID. Call the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada at 1-866-461-3222 for more information.

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