(Rewrite : what is SSN, why banks need SSN, what if you don’t have SSN, ID requirements for bank account. Target is International students new to USA, who are opening bank account for the first time.)
I recently received an email from one of our readers, inquiring about how to open a bank account without an SSN (Social Security Number) and how to access online services without using an SSN.
Yes, you (and all international students) are eligible to open bank accounts without an SSN. Usually, banks would require you to submit these: I-20, passport and admission letter. Of course, you must have money to deposit into the account. Likewise, your you can also register for online account access with a user name and password, without an SSN. Most banks typically provide lots of online financial services. With online access, you can make money transfers to friends within the same bank for free, have your check deposits scanned and posted into your transactions, and many other options.
And once you’re issued an SSN, you can visit or call your bank and have your records updated.