Can you get a debit card without id?

Whether you’ve lost your I.D., your wallet was stolen, or you never had a U.S. government I.D. in the first place, you’ll be pleased to learn that all is not lost.

You can get a debit card without an I.D., depending on your situation:

  1. If you already have a checking account, you can call your bank to request a debit card since they’ve already confirmed your identity through a government-issued I.D. when you opened your bank account. 
  2. You can get a prepaid debit card without a government-issued I.D if you don’t have a checking account.
  3. If you want a checking account and a debit card, some banks allow alternate forms of identification other than a traditional driver’s license.

In this article, determine which of the above situations applies to you to learn how you can get a debit card without I.D. 

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Can You Get a Debit Card Without ID?

You can get a debit card with identification if you already have an existing checking account with a financial institution or if you want to obtain a prepaid debit card.

If you want a debit card attached to a traditional checking account, but you don’t already have a checking account set up, almost every bank will require:

  • A government-issued I.D. (driver’s license, valid passport, birth certificate, or consular I.D.)
  • Proof of a home address (either on your driver’s license, a lease, or a utility bill like electricity, gas, water, or trash)
  • Identification number (social security number, individual taxpayer I.D. number or ITIN, alien identification card number, or in some instances, an international driver’s license or passport)

How to Get a Debit Card Without ID When You Have a Checking Account

The bank may not let you order a new debit card without identification in person, but you can do it over the phone. Most of the time getting a new debit card won’t be an issue because the bank will have scanned your ID when opening an account.

In this case, the bank will identify you another way. Alternate means of verifying your identity include asking for your social security card number, asking you to identify recent transactions, and verifying your answer to security questions.

Ideally, you have another form of identification available. Most banks will accept a passport or even a birth certificate to prove that you are, in fact, you and allow you to withdraw cash.

How to Get a Debit Card Without ID When You Don’t Have a Checking Account

If you don’t have a checking account, there are two ways to get a debit card:

  • The first way is by obtaining a prepaid debit card that’s not attached to a checking account but is instead preloaded with cash.
  • The second way is to open a checking account at a bank that makes it easier for undocumented people to establish a checking account without a traditional driver’s license. In this case, you will still need some form of identification, which we detail below.

Prepaid Debit Card

If you don’t have any form of identification that a bank will accept, you can still enjoy most of the benefits of a debit card by obtaining a prepaid debit card.

To get a prepaid debit card, you can take your cash into many different stores, such as Walmart or Walgreens. Load the cash onto the prepaid debit card, and it’s ready to use!

Some examples of prepaid debit cards, according to NerdWallet, include Chime, the Walmart MoneyCard, Greenlight Prepaid Mastercard, and Bluebird by American Express.

Pros of Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid debit cards allow you to complete transactions without using cash easily. Cash can be dangerous to keep on hand. Cash puts you at risk of being robbed without any recourse to get that money back.

Some prepaid debit cards are even partially insured. Partially insured means the FDIC ensures that at least a portion of the money loaded onto your debit card is safe if the issuing company fails.

Cons of Prepaid Debit Cards

It’s important to note that prepaid debit cards sometimes charge a fee, so keep an eye out for this when you find the best card for you. Not all prepaid debit cards have access to all ATMs, so the ATM network from which you’ll be able to withdraw cash is also important to note.

Checking Accounts for Undocumented Immigrants

Suppose you want the security and the added benefits of a debit card tied to a checking account. In that case, it is possible to get a checking account without traditional U.S. government-issued identification and thereby obtain a debit card.

Some credit unions and banks will accept a state-issued I.D., a residency card, a military I.D., or an identification card from the Mexican government called a Matricula Consular. You will not need a social security card, but you will likely need an ITIN. Banks that allow these alternate forms of identification include:

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • Bank of America
  • Chase

Some credit unions may require even less, such as the Latino Credit Union, which only asks for proof of street address, ITIN, or a government-issued I.D. from any country (does not have to be the U.S.).

Pros of a Debit Card Attached to a Checking Account

The federal government insures debit cards attached to checking accounts, so if the bank fails, your money is safe.

Debit cards attached to checking accounts also allow your employer to input your paycheck into your account directly. Therefore, you don’t need to manually reload the card every time it runs out of money.

In addition, your bank may cover certain purchases on your debit card even if your checking account does not have the funds available. This means fewer instances of embarrassing debit card declines.

Cons of a Debit Card Attached to a Checking Account

To get a debit card that’s attached to a checking account, you almost always need some form of government-issued I.D.

Your purchases will be trackable, and if a thief gets hold of your debit card number or checking account number, they can drain it of all of its funds.

Summary: Getting a debit card without I.D.

It is possible to get a debit card without an I.D., depending on the situation in which you find yourself. If you’ve lost your I.D., get it replaced as soon as possible to avoid the hassle of not being able to get a debit card when you need one.

If you don’t have an I.D., look for a bank or a prepaid debit card that doesn’t require the traditional driver’s license and social security card number to hold a debit card and take advantage of its benefits.


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John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.