Customer Identification

Why do I need to prove my identity?

Whether you're a new or existing customer, we must verify your identity when you open a new account. This is so that we can meet UK money laundering regulations to help stop criminals from using financial products or services for their own benefit. We will only ask for enough information to allow us to open your account.

What do I need to provide?

Existing customers - we'll tell you if you need to provide evidence of your name and address once we've received your application.

New customers - in order to confirm your identity, we need to verify your name and address. There are two ways to do this:

  • We may be able to check your identity electronically by using credit reference agencies to search sources of information relating to you (an Identity search); this search will not affect your credit rating.
  • OR

  • We may also ask you to provide paper ID evidence. If we do ask, please provide original items as we are not able to accept statements or bills printed from the internet.

New Smart account customers - If you're over 7, the account can be opened in your name. We'll need you to provide your passport or birth certificate along with proof of where you live. Ask your parent or guardian to review the table below for what's needed. When you have all the information you need, bring it to any one of our branches with your mum, dad or guardian to open your account. Please do not post passports.

New FlexOne customers - If you're new to Nationwide, you'll need to provide your local branch with ID so they can verify you, this applies even when you open your account online. If you're already a Nationwide customer you may still need to pop in with ID, but we'll let you know at the end of the application.

You can usually show us your ID in one of our branches, or you can post it to us. The tables that follow explain which route (branch or post) is acceptable for each form of ID.  We'll return any documents you send to us within 7 days of receipt.

If we cannot confirm your identity, we will not be able to continue with your application.

Identification needed for children

Please take the evidence we need to see to a branch (please do not post passports): 

Child aged over 7, if the account is in only the child's name

 Evidence we need to see
 Valid full UK passport, OR
Original birth certificate, adoption certificate or valid non-UK passport 
AND
A gas, electricity or phone bill (this must be less than 3 months old and not for a mobile phone) from a parent or guardian

Child aged under 16, if an adult is named on the account

 Evidence we need to see
Valid full UK passport, OR
Original birth certificate, adoption certificate or valid non-UK passport

Identification needed for adults

Paper ID documents for UK and European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals resident in the UK

We need to verify your identity (your name and address). We will try to do this electronically, but if we ask to see paper ID evidence, you can provide either of the following:

• one document from the UK Photo ID list (must be taken into a branch, please do not post)
OR
• two separate documents: one from the Proof of Name list below and one from the Proof of Current Address list. The same document can't be used to prove your name and address.

UK Photo ID

 Evidence we need to see  Applying in branch   Applying by post
Valid full UK passport  Yes   No
Valid full UK photocard driving licence  Yes  No

Or we can accept one document from the Proof of Name list and one document from the Proof of Current Address list if you're applying in a branch or returning your documents to us by post.

Proof of Name

 Evidence we need to see  Applying in branch  Applying by post 
Valid full UK driving licence (old style paper)  Yes  No 
Valid provisional UK photocard driving licence  Yes  No
Valid full EEA passport or EU member state ID card  Yes  No
UK-based bank or building society statement (must be less than 3 months old) with debit or credit card. Don't send this by post  Yes  No
UK-based bank or building society statement (must be less than 3 months old)  No  Yes
Letter from Benefits Agency including Universal Credit welcome letters (must be less than 12 months old)  Yes  Yes
Letter from a professional person who knows you (solicitor, accountant, doctor, social worker or probation officer)
 Yes  Yes

Proof of Current Address

 Evidence we need to see  Applying in branch  Applying by post 
Valid full UK driving licence (old style paper)
 Yes
 No 
Valid provisional UK photocard driving licence
 Yes
 No 
UK-based bank or building society statement (must be less than 3 months old)
 Yes
 Yes
UK mortgage statement (must be less than 12 months old)
 Yes  Yes 
UK gas or electricity bill (must be less than 3 months old)  Yes  Yes
UK phone bill (not mobile; must be less than 3 months old)  Yes  Yes
UK water bill (must be less than 12 months old)  Yes  Yes
UK council tax bill (must be less than 12 months old)  Yes  Yes
UK Credit Union statement (must be less than 3 months old)
 Yes
 Yes
Letter from Benefits Agency, including Universal Credit welcome letters (must be less than 12 months old)
 Yes
 Yes
Benefit letter from your local housing authority (must be less than 12 months old)
 Yes
 Yes
Tenancy agreement from a housing association or a council
 Yes
 Yes

Important note: We'll return any documents you send to us within seven days. If we cannot check your identity, we will not be able to continue with your application.

Paper ID documents for Non-European Economic Area Nationals resident in the UK

If you don't come from the European Economic Area, we will ask you to provide two documents for ID purposes:

  • Proof of name - Your national passport (must be taken into a branch, please do not post)
  • AND

  • Proof of address - You will need to provide one document from the Proof of Current Address list shown above)

Further help

If you cannot produce any of the documents from the tables, please contact your local branch as there may be other forms of identification you can use.


Thank you for helping to stop financial crime.