How can I prove my address quickly?

Proof of address is an important part of proving who you are, and you might be asked to prove your recent address history when opening a new bank account, applying for a loan or even signing up at your local bingo hall.

But what if you’ve only recently moved to your new address, or you’re signed up for paperless billing with all of your utility providers and bank accounts?

If you don’t have original documents that show your current address, it can be difficult to prove that you actually live there – which ironically makes it even harder to get printed proof of address from those same suppliers to show to other organisations later.

First steps to prove your address

The first steps in a long-term process to prove your current address involve getting your ID up to date, so make sure your driving licence is updated when you move, and apply immediately to get on the electoral roll.

Remember there can be delays in getting the updated versions of both of these through – and it can take weeks or even months to get on the electoral roll in some local authorities – so this is by no means a quick solution.

A letter from your solicitor can be used to prove you bought a particular address, while a tenancy agreement or equivalent can prove you are the current occupant of rented premises.

Other suitable documents include original bank statements – not printed out from online banking – plus utility bills, tax bills, mortgage statements, a Benefits Agency book, or a letter from your GP, so get your details updated with all of those entities as soon as possible.

But again, it can take time to get those changed – so what can you do to get faster address verification?

Proof of name vs. proof of address

It’s worth noting at this point that organisations typically require at least two forms of proof of ID, one to prove your name, and one to prove your address.

For example, if you have a valid passport, you can use this to prove your name, and your driving licence to prove your address.

But if you use your driving licence to prove your name, you’ll need a different second source of proof of address – taking you back to that list of utility bills, bank statements and so on.

In an age where many suppliers sign you up to paperless billing almost without telling you they’ve done it, you can easily find yourself without recent bank statements and bills to use as proof.

Some bills aren’t valid as ID in some places anyway – for example, you’re less likely to be able to use a provisional driving licence, a credit card statement or a mobile phone bill for this purpose.

Final hurdles

On top of all of the above, there are sometimes problems with the paperwork – for example if your utility supplier made a spelling mistake in your name that has never been corrected, or with postcodes that used to be in one historic county, but are now in another.

This is especially likely with more complicated addresses, such as if you have a flat number, a building number and a building name before you get to your street name – as not all electronic address systems are set up to handle so many details.

Again, it’s important to make sure your address is accurate and up to date in as many places as possible, and that you know how to get a paper statement or bill from those organisations if you ever need one.

Open a bank account without proof of address

You might be able to open a bank account without proof of address, although the account is often limited to just basic features that are little better than living with cash.

The Arro Personal Account is an alternative. It’s not a bank account, but an online electronic money account – and we use only a quick online ID check to verify your address.

We guarantee immediate approval wherever possible, subject to our Fair Fit criteria, and there’s no credit check needed – and we don’t need prior address history, as long as you currently live at a UK address.

The application process takes just three minutes and will not show on your credit file, so it’s a quick way to get an account open in your name, with access to Faster Payments, Direct Debits (not currently available, but it’s coming soon!), ATM withdrawals and a MasterCard® debit card for purchases.