Post Office proof of address: what is acceptable?

Gert Svaiko

If you’re thinking of sending money abroad from the UK, you’ll have lots of different providers to choose from. One of these is the Post Office, which offers an international money transfer service.

But before you can start sending money with the Post Office, you’ll need to sign up for an account. This means providing a number of documents, including proof of address.

In this handy guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Post Office proof of address requirements. This includes which documents they’ll accept, and how to get proof of address if you don’t have anything suitable.

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What Post Office considers as proof of address?

When you sign up for an account or set up an international transfer with the Post Office, you might be asked to provide proof of address. This might be alongside ID documents such as your passport or driving licence.

Here’s what the Post Office accepts as valid proof of address:¹

  • An electricity or gas bill
  • A phone bill
  • A bank or credit card statement
  • A letter from your local council
  • A letter from a financial institution
  • An insurance document
  • A tax or other official government document

The important thing to note with all the documents above is that they must be recent. Only documents dated within the last 90 days¹ will be accepted by the Post Office.

Along with the date, your proof of address document should also show your full name, current address and the company/organisation’s name and logo.

Why does Post Office need a proof of address?

Like other financial institutions and banks, the Post Office requires proof of address in order to access many of its accounts and services.

This is to help prevent fraud, identity theft and other criminal activity. It’s also to comply with financial laws and regulations, which can be quite strict in the UK.

Ultimately, the Post Office needs to be able to verify that you are who you say you are, and confirm your country of residence.

If I don’t have a proof of address, which other documents does Post Office accept?

It may be the case that you can send money with the Post Office without being asked for proof of address documents. You may be able to register an account with your details, without needing to provide additional verification documents.

Alternatively, you may be able to register using just your ID documents. Here’s what the Post Office will accept:¹

  • A valid passport (including temporary or emergency passports)
  • A UK, EU or EEA driver’s licence
  • An EU or EEA residence card
  • An EU national ID card
  • A UK application registration card
  • A shipping passport
  • Emergency travel documents

If you don’t have any of the required documents, or you’re not sure what you’ll need, the best course of action is to contact the Post Office.

How long does it take for Post Office to check details?

Once you’ve registered for a Post Office International Money Transfer profile, your account should be opened almost instantly. You should receive a confirmation email once your registration has been successfully processed.¹

However, you should bear in mind that if additional ID or proof of address documents are needed, it is likely to take longer to open your account. The Post Office doesn’t say how long it takes to check details or process registrations in this instance. But it’s likely that you’ll need to wait before sending your first international transfer.

Can I send money from the UK without proof of address?

If you want to send money internationally using a bank in the UK, you’ll usually need to provide proof of address in order to open an account.

However, you may be able to open an account with a digital only bank. Many of these providers only require proof of ID in order to sign up.

And once you have an account, you can make your first international transfer (if the bank offers overseas transfers, of course). There’s also the option of using specialist money transfer providers, although they may ask for proof of address in certain circumstances.

How to get proof of address without bills?

For most people, a household bill is the easiest to get hold of in order to prove your address. Gas, electricity, water and broadband bills are usually accepted by banks and money transfer providers - as long as they’re dated within the last 3 months.

But if you don’t have a recent bill, there are other ways to get proof of address. You can ask your employer to write a letter confirming your address, or use a letter from your university if you’re a student.

Other options include asking your landlord for a copy of your tenancy agreement (if you don’t already have it), or using your provisional driving licence to prove your address.

And that’s pretty much it - everything you need to know about Post Office proof of address requirements. We’ve looked at which documents are accepted, and what to do if you don’t currently have any of the documents on the list.

It may be the case though that you don't need proof of address documents at all. In its guide to getting started with money transfers, the Post Office says that it “sometimes” asks for additional information in order to verify your profile or transfer details.

So, you may be able to register and send right away, without needing to provide anything extra. However, it’s best to have some proof of ID and address ready before you sign up - just in case you do need it.

Sources used:

  1. Post Office Help - Money Transfer FAQs

Sources last checked on date: 14-Nov-2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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