City, town and village > Expats > What Documents Can You Use as Proof of Address?


How to Get Proof of Address in the UK

Without proof of address, you may find it difficult to access some basic services in the UK. For example, something as simple as opening a bank account can turn into an impossible thing when they require documents that serve as proof of address. But what does 'proof of address' mean? And how can you get it? If you’ve been requested to provide a document that ascertains you have permanent residence in the UK, here are a few options you can choose from.

Proof of Address in the UK: what documents can you use?

What is 'proof of address'?

When someone asks you for a “Proof of address”, they are requesting a document that can verify your residence in the UK. A valid or acceptable form of proof of address should:

  • Have your name in a way that matches your government-issued identification document
  • • Show your current home address
  • • Be from a recognized organization
  • • Show the company’s name
  • Not be older than three months

Sometimes you may have to provide two documents to prove your identity and address. In such cases, you cannot present the same paper twice. You should use two separate documents.

Why Is Proof Of Address Needed?

Fraud activities such as money laundering are on the rise. So, the government demands that banks and other financial institutions in the UK ask for proof of residence before setting up a new bank account for a client.

Who Can Request Proof of Address?

You may have to dish this document out to verify your residence if you would like to:

You may be able to open a bank account without bills to show as proof of address. Some banks offer to send you a letter to your address with a code that you can use to set up your account. However, not all banks offer this option, so check with your desired bank beforehand.

What documents can I use as proof of address?

Most people are puzzled when they are requested to bring proof of address. However, this is a standard procedure that can be done even without utility bills. Fortunately, you can offer a number of documents to prove you are a UK resident. Some examples of the acceptable documents you can submit as proof of address include:

  • • A recent bank statement
  • • Internet banking statements
  • • Utility bills (electricity, gas, landline phone, or water bills)
  • • Credit card bill
  • • Tenancy agreement
  • • Tax bill
  • • Employment letter
  • • Health care or NHS card
  • • A valid driving licence

Considering that most of these utility bills are mailed to your residence, the sensible thing to do is to offer a physical or paper proof of address document. If you want to send an online version, you may want to liaise with the organization you’re dealing with for finer details on the acceptable variants.

When presenting address proof, you must give the most recent ones. Anything older than three months is unacceptable. You may sometimes have to provide additional identification documents such as your passport or ID for further verification.

Are There Any Options for Those New In the UK?

If you are new in the UK and do not have any supporting document ascertaining your address, you can use one of the following documents as proof of residence:

  • • A letter from your language school, college, or university
  • • A letter from the student loan company enabling your education
  • • A letter from your employer if you’re in the UK for work purposes
  • • A letter from a previous bank verifying your address

You can also open an account before you get to the UK. However, this option requires you to opt for banks with corresponding relationships with a British bank. Some of the UK-based banks known to offer this option include Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and NatWest. If you can’t find such a bank in your country of origin, you can source an international bank for help. However, you need to know that these banks may require you to deposit significant money, pay a monthly fee, or make minimum monthly deposits to the account.

What documents can I use as proof of address

In short

In the UK, you may be requested to show some form of acceptable proof of address to complete many administrative procedures. For example, to open a bank account, access benefits, and cast your vote, among many others. This means that you will need to provide a recent document that clearly states your name and your home address.