What is Proof of Address: How to Complete Proof of Address Verification?

Want to open a new bank account? Most of the time the process is straightforward, sometimes it doesn’t go as smoothly as you want. The entire account opening application can be sorted in hours if everything goes as planned. Usually, it begins with a government-issued ID document, and the second document required is a proof of address document. The government-issued ID is used to verify a person’s identity, while the proof of address document is used to confirm where the said person lives. There are multiple types of valid documents you can use to verify the proof of address; these documents needed vary based on the country you live in and the bank you’re applying for to open an account in.

Not finding the right document for your application can lead to a delay in getting your account running. Unfortunately, finding and gathering the right proof of address documents isn’t the challenging part, the sheer volume of fraudulent documents that banks receive is the challenge during onboarding. As for customers, here’s how to complete proof of address verification?

What is Proof of Address?

The term proof of address explains everything there is to be explained. The proof of address document verifies where you live. Proof of address verification allows the bank to verify if the customer is telling the truth about their residential address. The primary purpose of proof of address verification is so banks that they’re able to contact the person in case they need to do so.

There are some factors that need to be met to makes sure that the proof of address documents are issued by a legal government entity and if they’ll be accepted by banks:

  • The document should be issued in the customer’s name and the name should match the government-issued identification.
  • The proof of address should contain your current residence and the document shouldn’t be older than 3 months.
  • The document needs to be sent by a recognized authority and should show the logo clearly, name and information.
  • The proof of address document needs to be dated clearly. Banks require documents that are issued or within 90 days, in case documents are older than that. These conditions can be different based on the type of bank and the type of documents.

It is easy for fraudsters to fake the documents and trick the banks and the personnel who’s onboarding customers. To minimize the instance of fraud, banks, and some financial institutions can ask for two different proof of address documents.

Similarly, someone living at the correct address may not have their name on any document, that’s usually the case for children living with their parents or a dependent partner. Fortunately, there are ways to get around this challenge.

What is Accepted as Proof of Address?

There are so many documents that can be used as proof of address documents. Including:

  • Utility Bills:Utility bills are the most common type of proof of address documents. Water bills, electricity bills, telephone and internet bills all can be used as proof of address documents. The documents shouldn’t be any older than 90 days.
  • Credit Card Statements:Credit card statements or bills are commonly used to verify a customer’s proof of address. Credit card bills contain a customer’s name and address. A customer can ask their credit card provider to send them a physical copy of the bill.
  • Bank Statement:Bank statements are the third most common type of document that is used for proof of address verification. These documents shouldn’t be older than 3 months to be considered valid.
  • Bank reference letter
  • Mortgage statement or contract
  • Letter issued by a government authority
  • Company payslip
  • Car or home insurance policy
  • Car registration
  • Authorized change of address form
  • Letter of employment
  • Official letter from an education institutions
  • Municipality bill or government tax letter
  • Driver’s license
  • Residence permit
  • Lease agreement for your residence

Different banks have different requirements and types of documents they need to verify a customer’s proof of address. Before applying for a new account, mortgage or loan, you should reach out to your local branch.

Banks also have ambiguous rules and you should focus on them to make sure that your address verification process goes smoothly.

What Documents Aren’t Acceptable for Proof of Address?

To make sure the proof of address verification process goes smoothly for the customer, customers should reach out to the local branch and ask for the list of documents they accept and the rules and regulations revolving around proof of address verification.

However, there are some commonly followed rules that a customer should keep in mind for proof of address regulation:

  • Separate documents are needed to verify customer ID and proof of address. Even if your ID document contains an address, you’ll need to use another document for proof of address.
  • Another document that’s too old will probably be considered.
  • Original documents are required, banks won’t accept copies of the documents. To successfully verify customers and minimize the risk of fraud, banks need to verify the authenticity of the documents.

Any other document that’s not available on the bank’s list of required documents for proof of address verification will be rejected. To make sure the process goes through smoothly, customers need to reach out to banks they’re applying to.

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