Be sure that you let the bank know that you are traveling and what states you are going to be in so they don’t put a hold on your credit cards or debit cards.

We do all our banking online with Wells Fargo. We can pay bills and deposit checks online. We can also go online to add or subtract states that we will be traveling in or remove those that we have already been through.

After 9/11 the US Government enacted H.R.3162 commonly referred to as the Patriot Act. The purpose of the USA Patriot Act is to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world.

The intent is for banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to verify the identity of all people who do business with them. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

To comply with the USA PATRIOT Act, banks, credit unions and credit card companies are required to verify the identity of those applying for membership and opening new accounts or services. Information they are required to obtain includes name, mailing and residence address, tax identification number, date of birth and a copy of a government issued photo ID. Additional information may also be gathered depending on the type of account applied for or opened. The Act requires financial institutions to maintain records of the identification verification and to periodically update this information. f

Federal law requires that financial institutions verify every customer’s identity by obtaining a legal address. Your legal address is your physical address, therefore PO boxes are not allowed.

So when deciding how you are going to handle your mail, please keep this in mind. If using a good traveling mail service, you shouldn’t have a problem. Escapees has already fought that battle in the courts to be recognized as a permanent address and domicile for travelers for banking, voting and vehicle registrations. But if you are using a PO Box you could have problems with your bank and credit cards.

For more information, see our post on Mail Forwarding.

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