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Can the bank require me to provide my Social Security number?

Yes, in certain circumstances. A bank may be required to obtain an identification number for several kinds of banking-related activities, including:

  • When opening an account
  • For monetary (deposit and loan) transactions
  • For large currency transactions
  • When reporting the interest earned on deposit accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

For a U.S. citizen, an identification number is the individual's Social Security number. For business accounts, an identification number is the employer identification number issued by the IRS.

Refer to 31 CFR 1020 "Rules for Banks."

Last Reviewed: October 2020

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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