A Complete Guide: How To Get A Valid Proof Of Address?

What is a Proof of Address

What Is A Proof Of Address: How To Get One And Use It?

Opening bank accounts today is much simpler than it used to be. All you have to do is visit the bank of your choice with the right set of documents and you’ll get a new account. Unfortunately, this document requirement causes problems for some users. While the entire process can be sorted in less than a day, it requires you to have all the correct documents. If you don’t have the right set of documents, you will keep running into problems regardless of the bank you visit. Every bank has a different requirement, so it makes sense for you to have all the documents. However, most banks just ask for a government-issued ID document and a valid proof of address verification document.

There are different types of acceptable documents that you can use as proof of address verification. These documents vary based on the country you live in, and the bank you’re applying for an account with. Almost 99% of banks globally accept utility bill verification for onboarding new customers.

Not having the right type of documents for your application can delay getting your account up and running. In this article, we’ve mentioned all the information regarding proof of address verification, and what kind of documents are required for proof of address verification.

What Is Proof of Address?

Proof of address as the name suggests is something that verifies an individual or a business’s address. These are documents that refer to where you live. Sometimes, proof of address is also called proof of residence. Banks all over the world require you to present a proof of address document while opening an account. This allows the banks to stay in touch with you and send communications via post. Moreover, these international banks figure out where a user lives, and the level of monitoring they need.

There are certain criteria that suggest to banks that your proof of address document is valid. When the proof of address verification process is complete, only then you can open a new account.

  • The document should be issued in your name and should match the name on your government-issued ID document.
  • The proof of address should contain your current address.
  • The documents need to have a logo from a government-recognized authority. It should contain the entity’s name and information.
  • Your Proof of address should be clearly dated. Generally, banks only accept documents that are dated within the last 3 months, but this rule can differ based on the bank and your geographical location.

Although, there are fraudsters that are able to trick the proof of address verification process by producing fake documents. These documents sometimes contain a fake address or a stolen address.

To minimize the risk of proof of address fraud, banks sometimes ask customers to provide them with 2 different documents.

Similarly, someone who’s living at the correct address may not have any documents to their name. This is often the case with a child or a dependent partner. That doesn’t mean that children and dependent partners can’t open a bank account, there’s a way around this problem.

Proof Of Address Verification Acceptable Documents:

Proof of address verification can include any of the below-mentioned documents:

  • Water bill, electricity bill verification, telephone bill, or internet bill
  • Credit card bill or statement
  • Recent bank statement
  • Bank reference letter
  • Mortgage statement or contract
  • Letter issued by a public authority (a courthouse)
  • Company payslip
  • Car or home insurance policy
  • Car registration
  • Authorized change of address form
  • LOE (Letter of Employment)
  • Official letter from an educational institute (university or college)
  • Driver’s license
  • Municipality bill or government tax letter
  • Residence permit
  • Lease agreement for your home

Every bank is allowed to choose its own set of documents for verifying proof of address. So, before you apply to any of the local branches, ask for their acceptable list of documents.

Ambiguous rules can be a big problem so keep them in your mind as well while opening a bank account. Sometimes, when a bank claims that they accept utility bills as proof of address, they may have specific guidelines on the type of utility bills they accept.

Documents That Aren’t Accepted As Proof Of Address:

To avoid running into any challenges, it’s always best to check with your local bank and get a list of acceptable and unacceptable documents. You should also enquire about the rules you need to follow to get valid proof of address.

Here are some of the most commonly followed rules that you should know about:

  • Your ID can only be used to verify your identity, even if it contains your address, it still won’t be accepted as proof of address.
  • Any document that’s too old will probably not be accepted by other documents.
  • Always bring original documents, not copies. Banks need to check the authenticity of the documents before approving them.

Generally, any documents that are not listed on the bank’s official list of required documents will be rejected. Thus, it’s always a good idea to check with your local branch in advance so that you’re able to prepare the right set of documents.

If you’re still having doubts, turn up at the bank with several documents so the banking officials can choose for you. This will prevent you from having to delay your application and return to your branch.

How To Find A Valid Proof Of Address?

Based on your current situation there are different courses of action that you can take to find an appropriate proof of address.

Setting #1: Bills Arriving At Your Home Are In Your Name

In this situation, finding valid proof of address is simple. It’s very probable that you already have some type of proof of address documents around your home. You can find:

  • A recent bank or credit card statement
  • Various utility bills
  • Your payslips

Any of these documents will be accepted by the bank, just make sure to bring the original copy to your bank when applying to the bank account.

Setting #2: Bills Arriving At Your Home Are Not In Your Name Or You’re Unemployed

If you’re stuck in this situation, there are other documents that you can use. The best way to move forward is to use your lease agreement or find a recent insurance policy taken out in your name.

Another way you can try is to get your name added to the phone bill, or you can visit your local provider to take out a basic phone. It’s worth checking with your local bank if they’ll accept these proof of address documents.

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