Financial institutions and identification
Before you open an account with a financial institution, they are obliged to establish your identity and verify your address. This requirement is set down in anti-money laundering legislation. Financial institutions include banks, building societies and credit unions.
When you are opening an account you cannot use the same document as proof of both your identity and your address. The bank may decide to use any of the following documents for verification, and they can also look for further information.
Proof of identity
The bank can request any of the following documents as proof of identity:
- A valid passport
- A current Irish driving licence
- A National Age Card (issued by An Garda Síochána)
- An identification form with a photograph signed by a member of An Garda Síochána
- Documents issued by government departments showing your name.
Government documents must be verified by a statement from a person in a position of responsibility such as a solicitor, accountant, doctor or social worker. That person must also come to the bank themselves with proof of their own identity.
Proof of address
The bank can request any of these documents as proof of your address:
- A current utility bill (such as a gas, electricity or telephone or mobile phone bill)
- A current car or home insurance policy that shows your address
- A document issued by a government department that shows your address
- A list of your tax credits
- A current balancing statement from Revenue
- A social insurance document (that shows your address)
- A letter from your employer or licensed employment agency stating that you have recently arrived in Ireland and have started work but cannot yet provide evidence of your Irish address (you will have to provide evidence of your address at a later date)
In some cases a bank may ask you for your PPS number – for example, if you are claiming tax relief on the interest paid on a mortgage loan.
Copies of all documentation used to establish the identity of the customer must be retained for 5 years after an account is closed. Also, copies of transactions must be kept for 5 years after the date of the transaction.
Bank staff are required to know the nature of their customers' business and can ask for information about the level and type of business that is likely to be transacted through the account. You can also be asked to provide confirmation of the source of your funds and to give reasons for carrying out certain transactions.
How to apply
You should contact your bank or financial institution to get full details of the identification they require. The Central Bank of Ireland’s Registers contains individual registers for all financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Where to apply