How to Open a Bank Account Online and In Person - AstroWealth Skip to main content

Are you looking to open a bank account? Are banking fees, charges and account types overwhelming to understand? Want to know how to open a bank account? Whether you want to open your first bank account or simply want to transfer to another financial institution, AstroWealth is here to help you choose the correct account in just a few steps.

Here is everything you need to know about how to open a bank account.

How to Open a Bank Account?

In Person

The traditional method to open a bank account is in person. You can typically walk in and ask about how to open a bank account. In order to open a bank account, you must speak with a personal banking advisor who can open the account in a few minutes. Since it is a relatively simplistic process, all you need to open a bank account is two pieces of acceptable IDs, and your personal information like name, birthday and address. Upon completion of all required information, you will be issued a debit card and can use it immediately.


With the Internet of Things, opening a bank account online has never been easier. If you don’t know how to open a bank account, AstroWealth is here to help. If you can’t open a bank account in person, you can simply book an appointment on the phone and speak to a personal bank advisor (PBA) online (these advisors might be called differently at each bank). They will advise you on the correct account type based on your needs and banking habits. You will need to provide personal banking information and proper IDs as well. These can typically be scanned and sent securely to the PBA via email. Once the process has been completed, you will either be mailed a bank card or you can ask to drop by the bank if you need the card relatively quickly.

What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account in Canada?

Now that you know how to open a bank account, let’s explore what you will need for the process.

Acceptable Forms of IDs

In order to open a bank account, you need two pieces of original (not photocopies) acceptable IDs:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Old age security card
  • Valid Canadian driver’s license
  • Valid Canadian passport
  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Certificate of Indian status
  • Permanent Resident card or an Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, or IMM 5292. Some banks may also accept form IMM 5688.
  • A document card with your photo and picture issued by select provincial and territorial authorities (find the list here)
  • Provincial or territorial health card
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization

If you don’t have these forms of IDs, you can also use any of the IDs listed below as a secondary form of identification:

  • Employee card with a photo that has been issued by a well-known employer
  • Client card from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with your photo and signature
  • Current foreign passport
  • Debit or bank card with your name and signature
  • Canadian credit card with your name and signature

One thing to note is when opening an account type that earns interest, such as a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, you will need to provide a social insurance number (SIN). The interest you earn on these accounts, unless it is a Tax-Free Savings Account, is taxable. This means, the bank will need to report the income to the Canada Revenue Agency for tax purposes.

Age Restrictions

It is important to understand how to open a bank account. While anyone can open a bank account, there are restrictions depending on the type of account. Financial institutions can have different rules depending on the province or state you reside in. If you cannot open a bank account due to age restrictions, you might need a legal guardian or parent to open on your behalf. It is a good idea to browse before you open a bank account to understand what works for you and what doesn’t.

What You Need to Know When Opening a Bank Account:

When thinking about opening your first bank account, you’ll need to understand which bank account is the best one for you. Typically, you’ll need a day-to-day bank account such as a chequing account and an account to help you save. Don’t forget to browse and educate yourself on bank fees and charges to avoid any unnecessary charges and maximize the perks you receive.

Now you know how to open a bank account, what information you need for it and all the essentials on banking.

Join AstroWealth today to earn Cash Back when you shop online with your chequing account.

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