What do you need to open a local bank account? Banks require different amounts of money needed to open a savings or checking account. Contact the bank to find out more information. A social security number is not needed to open a bank account. However, you will need to show identification. You will need to present the forms of identification below if you are in F-1 or J-1 visa status. The following is information from four local banks.


Types of Identification Needed

M & T Bank

Two forms of ID (Passport, I-20 or DS-2019, Visa, Student ID), one of which must have a picture, Current address, Phone number, Opening deposit

First Niagara Bank

Two forms of ID (Passport, I-20 or DS-2019, Student ID, Driver’s license)

Citizens Bank

Only your passport with Visa and driver’s license

NBT Bank

Only your passport with Visa

Please note that checks in U.S. dollars drawn from overseas banks will not be credited to your bank account until the check clears. This process may take one to two weeks and some banks will charge extra for this service. Depending on the bank, a fee may also be charged for international wire transfers of money to and from your bank account. See Banking Chart on the following pages for more information.

If you are a graduate student and will receive an assistantship or fellowship, you may arrange through the University to have your checks directly deposited to your bank account. Arranging direct deposit may help you to open a checking account on very favorable terms. Ask your bank for more information.

Based on information provided by Broome Community College. Used with permission. Information is up to date as of June, 2012.

Last Updated: 8/28/14