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How Do I Open a Bank Account Without an ID In The UK?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated September, 19, 2022

How do I open a bank account without an ID in the UK? 

The short answer is you can’t. 

However, there are ways to open a bank account if you can provide a passport or a driving licence by using some other form of ID.

Let’s dive in.

Can I Open a Bank Account In The UK Without Any ID?

Opening a bank account without any ID in the UK is not possible, regardless of whether it’s a traditional bank or a digital one, but it can be done with alternative ID forms.

Banks need to verify your identity in line with anti-fraud and anti-money laundering policies, which is why they cannot open a bank account without an ID. 

These policies protect the bank from liability and customers– you wouldn’t want another person to be able to open an account in your name.

How To Open a Bank Account In The UK Without an ID?

Normally, you would be able to open a bank account with a valid passport or a driving licence, but if you don’t have either, you could use some alternative ID forms, including:

Any other passport 

Most banks will accept any current passport, but you’ll also need to show a visa if you need an account to reside in the UK.

Official document with name and either address or date of birth (No photo ID)

You may be able to open a bank account without a photo ID by submitting any other government-issued document that has your full name, address, and date of birth, including a council tax bill, a credit card statement, or a utility bill. 

You could also open a bank account with no photo ID if you can provide a copy of your original Birth Certificate or National Insurance Card.

HMRC tax notification

The letter from HMRC that you receive at the end of the tax year (which tells you how much taxes you’ve paid and whether you’ve paid too much or too little) can be used as a form of ID.

Electronic checks via a credit reference agency

If your identity has already been verified through a credit reference agency and your credit reports contain enough information, you may be able to apply online for a current account with one of the traditional banks without having to provide any other ID forms.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

This is the document you get when you apply for a visa to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months. Banks can accept it as an ID form because it has your picture, fingerprints and immigration status.

Home Office documents

You can use your Immigration Status Document or an Application Registration Card (ARC) – which is issued by the Home Office– to open a bank account.

Blue disabled drivers pass

Also referred to as a ‘Blue Badge’, this document is released by the council and allows disabled individuals to park closer to their destination.

Young Scot card 

This is a free card for young people aged 11-26 that live in Scotland, which comes with a number of benefits, including travel discounts and free school launches.

UK Armed Forces ID Card

Veterans’ ID cards are an acceptable form of ID.

Benefits entitlement letter

A benefits entitlement letter is issued by the office that pays your benefits. For example, if you receive housing benefits, you can ask for one from the council.

Northern Ireland Voters Card

People that live in Northern Ireland have a card that serves as proof of ID when they go to vote.

UK Banks Where You Can Open a Bank Account Without An ID

There are a number of high street banks that offer a range of accounts specially designed for people with financial difficulties, poor credit history or people with no steady address. 

These can be easier to get if you don’t have a traditional form of ID. 

Lloyds

Opening a Lloyds bank account is a simple and fast process, even for those who have just moved to the UK. 

The bank requires applicants to provide proof of ID and address. Existing customers can use their bank cards with Chip & Pin to verify their identity.

If you don’t have a driving licence or a passport, you can submit any other ID form, like an HMRC tax notification, benefits entitlement letter, UK Armed Forces ID card, Home Office Application Registration Card, and others. 

Note: The bank may require a certain form of ID for different services.

TSB

Like Lloyds, TSB accounts accept almost any form of ID, including an ‘old style’ UK paper driving licence (issued before 2000), a current shotgun or Firearms licence, a notice of coding (less than 12 months old), or benefits/ state pension letter.  

Nationals from other countries can provide a valid UK Biometric Residence Permit or a current passport with a valid UK Visa, while those under 18 can open a bank account with a birth certificate or a UK Medical Card/Certificate.

If you’re not eligible for any of TSB’s main accounts, you may be offered their basic cash account. TSB also offers loans for £1,000- £50,000.

Metro Bank

Metro Bank is one of the banks that don’t need a photographic Id to open an account and offer accounts to people in sheltered accommodation or care homes.

In most cases, UK, Swiss National, and EEA citizens can open a bank account with Metro Bank with an EU national ID card, a driving licence, or a valid passport. Other nationals can show proof of address, a current visa, or a Biometric Residence Permit.

If you don’t have any of these documents, you may be eligible for a cash account. The bank also accepts letters of acceptance or letters of introduction from your college or university for student accounts.

Note: If you use a non-photographic ID, you’ll have to provide 2 proofs of address. 

HSBC

HSBC is a UK bank that runs a No Fixed Address program in partnership with several charities to help people that do not have a fixed address open a bank account.

The bank also offers accounts to UK and EU citizens (16 or older) to people with adverse credit or other financial difficulties. 

It accepts Council Tax bills, HMRC tax notifications, credit card statements, mortgage statements, mortgage statements, utility bills, and benefits letters. 

Can I Open a Bank Account With Proof of Address?

Although most banks require proof of address to open a bank account, there are some (mostly non-traditional) banks that do conduct address and credit history checks, like Starling Bank or Monzo

You should consider getting a bank account with a bank that doesn’t require applicants to have a UK address if you are a:

  • A homeless person: Homeless citizens can get a virtual address where they can receive their letters about benefits and employment. They can use this address to open a bank account.
  • An international student: Banks will accept your application as long as you have proof that you’re studying in the UK. 
  • A digital nomad: Digital nomads can often open a virtual bank account without an address ID or get a mailing address from a virtual address service provider.
  • People that just moved to the UK and don’t have a permanent address may be able to open a bank account without proof of address with a challenger bank. Here are our top picks for banks that offer bank accounts for non-UK residents.

Bottom Line 

Although you can’t open a bank account without an ID in the UK, you could still apply for one with a passport or a driving licence. Most banks will accept any documents that can be used to verify your identity, like a BRP, Home Office documents, a UK Armed Forces ID card, an HMRC tax notification, or a benefits entitlement letter, among other things.

                           

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Can I open a bank account without a passport or driving licence?

You’ll still be able to open a bank account even if you don’t have a passport or a driving licence. Most banks accept any form of ID that can be used to verify your identity.

What can I do if my ID is refused?

If you’re positive that the ID you’re presenting is on the bank’s accepted ID list, you can ask the bank to reconsider your application. Alternatively, you could go to another branch or a different bank.

What if my ID has expired?

Banks don’t accept expired documents, so you will have to either renew them or provide a different form of ID.

How do I open a bank account without an ID in the UK?

While opening a bank account without an ID is not possible, there are ways to open an account with other forms of ID.

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.