How To Get a Bank Account Without Traditional ID in the UK General

In the 21st century, a bank account is more important than ever. Not only is a bank account pretty much the only way of receiving any kind of government assistance, it’s also the only way that you’ll be able to be paid through the PAYE scheme – which most jobs do. 

This makes having a bank account very important. Unfortunately, however, you need some form of identification in order to open a bank account. But what if you don’t have that? #

What if you’ve never been out of the country, and so don’t need a passport? 

What if you’re happy to use public transport and don’t need a driving licence? 

In that case, it can be a lot more difficult to apply for a bank account; however, it is not impossible.

Rethinking ID 

Banks ask for identification because they want you to prove who you say you are and that you live where you say you do. With that in mind, government ID isn’t the only option, and there are some alternatives in some cases. In this next section we will go through some of the alternatives to traditional ID. 

Proving You Are Who You Say You Are 

This is the difficult part of establishing identification. Your two options here are a passport (which costs £75 to get done online) or a provisional driving licence (which costs £34). You will also need your birth certificate to apply for these. 

Alternatively, some banks accept  other forms of identification. For example, Nationwide will accept valid student ID or a letter from your doctor, probation worker or social worker. And most will accept a benefits letter from the last 12 months in lieu of identification. 

Other potential forms of proving you are who you say you are include: 

  • Young Scots Card
  • Northern Ireland Voters Card
  • HMRC Tax Notification
  • Biometric Residence Permit 
  • UK Armed Forces ID Card
  • Home Office Documents
  • Blue Disabled Driver’s Badge
  • Any other nationality’s passport – possibly including a visa. 
  • EU/EEA ID Card or Driving licence
  • Benefits Entitlement Letter

Proving You Live Where You Say You Live

Proving where you  live is a much easier prospect than your actual identity. Most banks will accept the following pieces of identification if you don’t have a driving licence: 

  • Benefits letter (providing you didn’t use it to prove your identity). 
  • Council Tax Bill
  • Gas Bill
  • Tenancy Agreement from your local authority or letting agency

If you don’t have access to any of these then you may have to ask your bank whether they’ll accept a letter from your employer. 

For More Welfare Advice Contact Building Better Opportunities 

Building Better Opportunities is a welfare advice and employment support charity based  in Staffordshire. This means we provide our clients with bespoke employment and welfare advice, designed to help put them back in work and then stay in work. Whether you’re looking for advice with writing up a CV or applying for welfare benefits, you can find it through our website. 

For more welfare advice in Staffordshire, contact Building Better Opportunities today.