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Identification you need to open a bank account in Canada

Identification you need to open a bank account in CanadaCan a tourist open a bank account in Canada?  What are the requirements for opening an account?

To open a bank account in Canada, you need to meet the customer identification requirements set out in the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations under the Canadian Bank Act.  All Canadian banks and financial institutions must comply with these requirements.  The rules and regulations have been set out to counter money laundering and terrorist financing legislation.

Customer Identification Requirements

If you are a new customer, you will need two forms of identification, at least one of which must be from Part A:

  • Part A – Identification issued by the Canadian Government
  • Part B – A foreign passport or secondary identification issued by an employer or a bank

If your identity can be confirmed by an acceptable existing customer of the bank that you wish to open the account, you may only need to present identification for Part A.

The acceptable types of customer identification requirements for Parts A and B are listed below.

Part A

  • A drivers’ licence issued in Canada, as permitted to be used for identification purposes under provincial law
  • A Canadian passport
  • A Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization, in the form of a paper document or card but not a commemorative issue
  • A Permanent Resident card or Citizenship and Immigration Canada Form IMM 1000 or IMM 1442 or IMM 5292
  • A birth certificate issued in Canada
  • A Social Insurance Number 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, as permitted to be used for identification purposes under provincial law
  • A document or card, bearing the individual’s photograph and signature, issued by any of the following authorities or their successors:
    • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
    • Alberta Registries
    • Saskatchewan Government Insurance
    • Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
    • Department of Transportation and Public Works of the Province of Prince Edward Island
    • Service New Brunswick
    • Department of Government Services and Lands of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Department of Transportation of the Northwest Territories
    • Department of Community Government and Transportation of the Territory of Nunavut

Part B

  • An employee identity card, issued by an employer that is well known in the community, bearing the individual’s photograph
  • A bank or automated banking machine or client card, issued by a member of Payments Canada in the name of, or bearing the name of, the individual and bearing the individual’s signature
  • A credit card, issued by a member of Payments Canada in the name of, or bearing the name of, the individual and bearing the individual’s signature
  • A Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) client card bearing the individual’s photograph and signature
  • A foreign passport