How can my daughter get a checking account with no picture ID?
July 25, 2021 5:28 PM   Subscribe

My daughter is 20. She has no driver's license or picture ID, but needs an independent checking account. Help?

My daughter has been struggling with mental health issues including social anxiety for years. She has been working on things lately, and one source of stress is that she doesn't have any means to handle her own money independently. She needs picture ID to get a bank account, and she is about 100 steps away from being able to cope with getting that.

How can she have something that functions like a checking account, that I can put her money into, so that what she does with it and how she spends or saves it is entirely up to her. It should be something she can use like a debit card to pay for things online.
posted by Orlop to Work & Money (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What if you set up an account in your name and give her the associated debit card, pin and user name and password, She can set up the app so she can deposit checks and do venmo etc. on-line. You can also put money into the account via zelle.

It is a little dodgy since she is pretending to be you so don't do it if you or she has a problem with that or if you feel like it sets a bad precedent.
posted by metahawk at 5:40 PM on July 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Venmo will issue a debit card after the account is open and linked to a bank account. Link to yours or to one you set up in your name for this purpose, then get the debit card then when she is able/capable of getting a government ID at DMV (they will issue an ID without a DL) open a bank account.

Open a new bank account in your name and make her a cosigner?

American Express used to have something like what you want. Not sure if they still do. It works like a prepaid debit card. I used to put my kid's allowance on one. She can pay you and you can load the card.
posted by AugustWest at 5:41 PM on July 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Actually, if you or someone else she trusts lives close enough to go with her, I would look into getting a state id card. It is a really important step towards having being an independent adult in the world. She can fill out the all of the paperwork at home and when she goes in, you or another helper can do 90% of the talking. If she can tolerate being a room full of strangers that she doesn't have to talk with, it should be very do-able with someone there to support her.

Just to be clear, I realize that there may not be someone close enough to help out and/or even than level of interaction may not be possible. I respect that. Just wanted to put it out there that the id may not be as far beyond reach as it seems.
posted by metahawk at 5:43 PM on July 25, 2021 [37 favorites]

Can you buy her a series of prepaid debit cards? add her to your credit card account and give her a fixed limit card with her name on it (this is how several non-credit-worthy adults I know have credit cards, FYI. They get a new separate number so your main account isn’t compromised if theirs is skimmed)? My credit union also lets me give out debit cards to other members in my family w/ their names on it that connect to my account.

Also yes she should get a state ID card. It’s relatively easy (no tests!) and in most states it just looks like a drivers license so she’ll be able to go to over 18 shows/stores or buy booze soon with it…if that makes enduring the process any easier.
posted by holyrood at 5:46 PM on July 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Not sure where you are but in Canada you can get an online bank account (eg Tangerine) with just a passport and you can get a passport thru the mail. You just need a proper photo on top of the application and birth certificate. If you don't have a birth certificate that can also be requested online or via fax/mail.

The only drawback is the passport will take months.
posted by Mitheral at 6:08 PM on July 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you are in the US, Cash App is explicitly designed for this -- gives you a debit card, bank account, and routing number, with no identity verification (for small amounts only) or SSN verification (for larger amounts). This seems to be what The Kids are using.

If this is just about spending money and not depositing, and you want more control and visibility, Greenlight is a great solution.

But nth-ing that she will eventually need a photo ID.
posted by goingonit at 6:27 PM on July 25, 2021 [7 favorites]

Visa has reloadable pre-paid cards that would do a pretty good job of what you're looking for!

link to info
posted by euphoria066 at 6:50 PM on July 25, 2021

If you watch late-night TV, there are several places that to the "kid's first debit card" sort of thing. Allowances, chores, etc. geared towards the teenagers. That would let you put money into the account, keep an eye on usage, she gets a debit card/phone-app/maybe tap-n-pay.

Search for something like that. Also second the state ID. In California it's sorta required to have ID a bit, but they give them to anybody. Knowing your social security number, having a birth certificate, old school id, bills in your name, it's not hard. Even homeless shelters will help you get state ID.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:51 PM on July 25, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks for all the ideas. Cash App looks like it will do what we need it to do.

There are about a thousand impossible things my kid needs to do before she can walk into the secretary of state's office to get an ID. She's working hard, but it's going to be a long road.
posted by Orlop at 7:39 PM on July 25, 2021 [5 favorites]

Orlop, I'm glad your daughter's addressing her issues and that you're sympathetic and supporting her efforts. If it helps down the line, getting the state ID won't mean steeling herself for the secretary of state's office, but heading to a local branch. (Example of a tiny one, open 3 days a week.) Or there's the longer-window passport option mentioned above, which might involve the post office, if those nearby offer photography; still, less daunting than a cavernous DMV.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:01 AM on July 26, 2021 [6 favorites]

(Unfortunately, there are a dozen or so things you have to do or have before you can get a state ID, including proof of birth, proof of residency, and a bunch of other paperwork. If you don't have your birth certificate or social security card or any other form of proof that you're entitled to an ID, you have to do all of those things first, and they're all multi-step processes. I've helped people experiencing homelessness or returning from prison do this, and it can take months and be very stressful.)

Seconding CashApp.
posted by decathecting at 2:58 PM on July 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

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