Patriot Act

New Proof of Identity Required When Opening Accounts
Don't be surprised if the next time you open a deposit, loan or other account at a bank or other financial institution you have to spend additional time proving your identity. That's because the U.S. Treasury Department and federal financial regulatory agencies (including the FDIC) have jointly issued new rules for customer identification that implement the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, a law intended to help fight terrorism.
 
Under the rules, which became mandatory October 1, 2003, financial institutions generally are required to ask each customer for their name, address, date of birth and tax identification number (usually a Social Security number) when opening a new account. Foreign nationals without a U.S. taxpayer ID number could provide a similar government-issued identification number, such as a passport number