Questions you’re searching: What should I bring to open a bank account?

A young woman and her mother sit together to open a bank account.

Before you head to the bank, make sure you have the items listed below. And check out some FAQs about opening and using your first bank account.

Think you’re ready to open a bank account? Here’s what to bring with you to the bank:

Illustrated infographic of the items you need to carry with you to open a bank account.

Once you’re sitting with the banker, it’s important to understand the features of your bank account. Here are some questions you might have about opening your own account.

What do I need to bring with me to open a bank account?

When opening a bank account, you should bring the following items with you:

  • A Social Security card or number
  • A valid and current photo ID, such as a driver license, state ID card, or a passport.
  • A parent. If you’re under age 18 (19 in Alabama), you’ll need a parent or legal guardian to accompany you when you open your bank account.
  • Cash or a check to deposit into your new account. 

How do I know if I’m ready to open a checking or a savings account?

It depends. Do you need to pay rent, car payments, or other bills with checks? Then a checking account may be best. You can also opt to get a debit card, which you can use to pay for things with money from your checking account.

If you’re not making many payments and just want a place to keep your money, a savings account may be enough for your needs. (Keep in mind that certain types of withdrawals and transfers that can be made from your savings account are limited to a combined total of six per monthly fee period.) 

Do I need to make a minimum deposit in my account?

Yes. Wells Fargo requires a minimum deposit of $25 in order to open an account. Be sure to bring cash or a check with you so you’ll be able to deposit money into your new account.

What happens if I withdraw more than I have in my account?

If you spend more than you have — also known as overdrafting your account — you will incur an overdraft fee. Help protect yourself by setting up low-balance alerts1 so you get a text or email notification when your account balance dips below a certain amount. Also, get into the habit of looking at your accounts daily and consider linking your checking account with a savings account2 so overdrafts incurred on your checking account can be covered by the available funds in your linked savings account for a fee. Talk to a banker when you open the account; they can help you link accounts and walk you through the overdraft fee rules.

Will my parents be able to see how I spend and save my money?

In most states, you must be 18 or older to open any bank account independently. If you’re not 18 yet, you can still establish an account with one or both of your parents acting as co-owners. This means they have access to your account transactions and your money. The upside? Parents can help you keep track of your balances and identify when you need to make deposits before you get too low. If you are 18 or older and your parent or guardian is not on the account then they will not be able to see how your money is spent or saved.

What else can I do with my Wells Fargo account?

Once you open an account and get used to logging in and checking on your money, take a look at My Money Map, which is a free online tool that helps you track your spending.

Through My Money Map, it becomes easy to see spending patterns — and where you may be overspending. Then you can try putting goals in place to save more money.

There are quite a few tools that make banking easy and convenient, especially when you’re a busy college student!

 

Ready to open a bank account? Wells Fargo has an option specifically for students.

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