Financial institutions and identification


Before you open an account with a financial institution such as a bank, building society or credit union, they must establish proof your identity and verify your address. This requirement is set down in anti-money laundering legislation.

The Central Bank has an explainer on why you must prove your identity when opening a bank account.


When you are opening an account you cannot use the same document as proof of both your identity and your address. The bank can 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

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 copy of your Tax Credit Certificate (TCC)
  • A Statement of Liability (previously P21) 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

Central Bank of Ireland

Financial Regulation

New Wapping Street
North Wall Quay
Dublin 1
D01 F7X3

Tel: (01) 224 5800
Locall: 1890 777 777
Fax: (01) 671 6561
Page edited: 16 January 2020