From why it’s needed to what counts and how you can get it, we’ve covered the A to Z of getting proof of address.
Whether it was your new employer adding you to their payroll, an eBay seller seeing where they needed to ship to, or a long lost friend inviting you to their wedding, you’ve probably been asked for your address a bunch of times over the years.
In the financial world though, having concrete proof of where you live is all the more important. If you want to open a bank account or take out any form of credit (like a credit card, loan, or mortgage) you’ll be asked to prove you are who you say you are, and you live where you say you live.
Together, both of these documents help lenders to confirm - with confidence - your application isn’t fraudulent.
What is proof of address?
It’s what it says on the tin really. It’s evidence from an official and trusted source that shows your name and the address you live at. There’s a reason we put emphasis on the ‘trusted’ part too, because not every document with your address on will be accepted.
What counts as proof of address?
The good news is that there are plenty of options when it comes to finding something that can be used to prove your address:
Gas, water, electric, TV, or landline phone bills. If you’re providing any of these, they must be less than three months old.
A council tax bill that’s dated within the current financial year.
Bank or credit card statements that were issued within the last three months - it’s worth remembering that internet statements won’t be accepted.
A current tenancy agreement, council rent book or mortgage statement - again, these have to be less than three months old and can’t be an internet version.
A hire purchase statement of account or a catalogue or mail order statement from the last three months.
Your pension book, driving licence (providing it has your current address on and can be supported by your full paper counterpart), or medical/NHS card.
A motor or home insurance certificate that was issued within the last 12 months.
Different lenders will have different policies when it comes to what they will and won’t accept as proof of address though.
While the documents listed above are pretty standard across the board, some providers may accept other types of proof, like your payslip, provisional licence, or entitlement letter.
If you’re not sure, give your bank a call and see what they’re happy with before you go rummaging through all your paperwork.
How to get proof of address without bills
A common, and incorrect, misconception around proof of address is that you can’t evidence it without bills. But, if you’ve not moved out of your family home or you don’t pay bills where you’re currently at, you won’t have any addressed to you.
Well, the good news is that it’s not a problem.
As you can see from the table above, there are a whole load of other documents you can dig out that do the exact same job.
How to get proof of address quickly
In an ideal world, you’ll have one or more of the documents we listed earlier lying around already. If you don’t though, there are a few things you can do to get your hands on them ASAP.
1. Give your bank a call and ask them to send out your most recent statement. To try and speed it up even more, you could just drop in at your branch and see if they’ll print it for you there and then. You can give this a whirl with your utility bill providers too (if you have any, that is).
2. If you’re currently renting and you don’t already have one, get your landlord to drop off your tenancy agreement pronto - and if they drag their heels take no notice, you’re entitled to it and should have your hands on a copy anyway.
3. If whoever you’re living with is happy to comply, see if they’ll add your name to their utility bill statements - don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to start paying them. Then, by the time your next bill comes, your name should be on it and ready to use.
4. If a) the lender accepts it as a valid proof of identity, and b) you don’t already own one, you could apply for a provisional driving licence - it’ll cost you a few quid though. To get the process going, just head to your local Post Office with a passport-sized photo and your actual passport, and ask for the relevant form.
Once you’ve filled it in, pop it in the post to the DVLA and you should have your provisional licence within around two weeks.
How to get proof of address online
Different lenders will have a different stance, but, generally speaking, you can’t provide proof of address online. The document you provide - whether it’s a statement, bill, or certificate, will normally need to be a paper version.
If you need answers specific to a certain bank, it’s probably worth giving them a call and asking them directly.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.