In order to open a bank account in Singapore, you must be able to provide Proof of Address.
Get a proof of address.
Two forms of proof of address actually.
Suffice it to say, if you need anything to do with your livelihood in Singapore, you'll need proof of address to get it started.
What is a Proof of Address?
Proof of Address is exactly that. It is a proof of address in Singapore which indicates a residential address within Singapore.
You will most likely be required to present both Proof of Identification and Proof of Address when opening an account anywhere.
Not just at banks, but also when joining insurance agencies, engaging in public welfare, etc.
Different organizations require different types of Proof of Address in most cases.
Different organizations may also have different time requirements.
For example, one organization may require a utility bill within three months, whereas another organization may require a bill from within six months.
The time frame may vary from document to document, as well.
The following is a comprehensive list of most (but not all) documents that may be accepted as Proof of Address in Singapore:
- Local utility bill (within 3-6 months varying on the organization's specifications).
- Local telecommunication bill indicating specific date, address, and name.
- Local bank statement/credit card statement.
- Valid passport (with the address indicated by Immigration Authorities within 6 months).
- Bills, statements, or letters issued by the Central Provident Fund Board & Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (within 1 year).
- Letters or documents issues from an insurance company within Singapore (within 6 months).
- Signed tenancy agreement (with signatures of both the tenant and the landlord within 1 year).
- Letter from a public authority (such as a court, or power of attorney).
- A mortgage loan statement or agreement (within 1 year).
- A letter from school indicating your address (restricted to official letters from educational institutions or schools under the purview of Council for Private Education or Ministry of Education).
- A letter of employment signed by an authorized person of the company indicating your address.
- Your car’s registration.
- An insurance policy for your car or your home.
- Letters or bills issued by other local government agencies within a certain time frame (e.g. Housing Development Board, Land Transport Authority and Town Council, etc.).
There may also be differing proof of address requirements depending on residential permits or immigration status.
Some of the above forms of Proof of Address may be accepted, while others may be rejected.
Be sure to confirm accepted forms of Proof of Address with the organization beforehand.
Proof of Address may vary depending on whether you are registering online or in person.
In some cases, providing NRIC, which is a National Registration Identification Card in Singapore, which indicates your address, your name, and photo, is acceptable Proof of Address in person.
What are forms of Proof of Address that are not accepted?
The following are, in most cases, not acceptable forms of Proof of Address when presented on their own as the sole Proof of Address:
- Your proof of identification without any other supporting documents.
- An address that is commercial and not a residential address.
- Any official letters or agreements that exceed the indicated time frame.
- Any Proof of Address that exceeds a certain time frame (time frame indicated by organization regulations).
- Any documents that indicate your residence at a different address.
- In some cases, copies or print-outs of documents (this will be dependent on the organization and whether this process is being done virtually or in-person).
- Pension agreements.
- Receipts and invoices for purchasing goods.
In almost every case, your NRIC cannot be the sole Proof of Address.
There must always be one more supporting document with your name and address on it.
Why is Proof of Address needed?
Banks and other organizations ask for Proof of Address as a security measure.
The issue of falsified proof of residency has greatly increased through the years.
Documents can easily be doctored, or temporary addresses can be submitted to replicate a permanent one.
This has pushed the process and necessity of Proof of Address to be extensive and crucial.
How to get Proof of Address
Once you have provided the necessary documents for Proof of Address, the process is out of your hands.
The organization must provide you with an extensive guide of the process and requirements.
The process of getting Proof of Address can be more difficult than it may appear to be at first.
It does not start and end with you providing the acceptable documents.
Pay attention to any calls or mail you receive that could be asking for more information or more documents of proof.
If you do not pay close attention, the process of verifying Proof of Address can be drawn out.
In some cases, an automated check can be conducted, however, the following are necessary steps in the process that are done manually:
- Inspection of documents to check for watermarks, indications of graphic design alterations, security features, or any other signs of falsification.
- Confirmation of dates, with Proof of Address indicating dates that adhere to the required time frame.
- Confirmation of your name on the document.
- Confirmation of the address indicated on the documents. The address must be determined to be a real address that exists.
Once all documents have been verified, you will be notified. It is important to make sure all of your documents and information are up to date in order to avoid any issues when in need of them (such as when you need Proof of Address).
Documents can be rejected if your name, address, or any other information does not align.
Be sure to confirm everything is accurate and ensure all information coordinates with the rest.
Informing your bank, insurance companies, etc. of any address change will prevent issues when providing Proof of Address for any reason in the future. Keep your documents organized.
As long as you do live where you are saying you live, the process to get Proof of Address should be relatively painless.
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