Can You Open a Bank Account at 17 Without a Parent?

Access to the banking system is one of the most important steps when it comes to gaining independence in life, building up savings and investments over time, and setting yourself up for a more comfortable life down the road.

It’s never too early to start saving by opening a bank account, but many people are wondering, can you open a bank account at 17 years old? And if you want to open an account without having your parents attached to it, can you open a bank account at 17 without a parent? We’ll be answer these, and many more questions, right now…

Opening a Bank Account Without a Parent at 17 Years Old

When you’re 17, you’re less than a year away from being able to do a lot of things that you couldn’t do before. You can vote, you can enlist, you can do all sorts of things that are exclusive to adults, but can you open a bank account before turning 18?

Related: Can a 13 year old have a debit card?

There are a lot of reasons that somebody may want to open a bank account without having their parents attached to the account. Some parents are overly controlling, some are abusive or manipulative, or they have money problems of their own and so the teen doesn’t feel safe letting their parents have access to their savings… These are very sad and unfortunate situations.

Unfortunately, if you’re 17 and you want to open a bank account, you’ll need an adult to help. A friend or a grandparent or another family member can open the joint account with you, and you can turn it into your own account once you turn 18, but until then you can’t really open a bank account completely on your own.

Banks won’t open accounts for minors, without a parent or guardian or somebody over the age of 18 to be a co-signer on the account.

How old do you have to be to open a bank account at Bank of America?

While some banks have youth accounts for people who are under the age of majority, those accounts still require the assistance of someone older to help open them for you.

You need to be at least 18 years old to open a bank account at Bank of America. If you are under 18, you will need a parent or a guardian to help you with it.

What do I need to open a bank account for my child?

If you’re a parent and you want to open a bank account for your child or teenager, here’s a list of what you’ll need (list via

  1. Your child’s photo ID (like a passport)
  2. Your photo ID.
  3. Both you and your child’s social insurance numbers.
  4. Your child’s birth certificate.
  5. Proof of address.

If you have those things, you can head to just about any bank and open up a joint account between you and your teenager.

Are There Any Other Options for Opening a Bank Account When You’re 17?

Unfortunately, your best option is going to be to wait until you’re 18, if you don’t have anyone that can help you open up the bank account. It’s unfortunate, since some workplaces will require payments to be made by direct deposit, so if you don’t have a bank account, that gets tricky. You could see if your work can cut you a cheque, instead of direct deposit, but obviously having a bank account would be the best bet, which is a less-than-ideal situation for someone who can’t get a bank account yet.

Please note that the rules can vary from state to state, so your best bet is to call up your local bank branch. If there are credit unions nearby, they can be easier to deal with sometimes – so call up a credit union and explain your situation and they’ll let you know exactly what they can do for you.

Mat Woods

Author Information

Mat Woods is the lead writer at He works tirelessly alongside the rest of the team to create useful, well-researched, trustworthy articles to help parents and their teens.