I recently decided I would get into trading stocks and wanted to set up an Etrade account to start. When making a brokerage account, they asked for these documents from me:

  • Valid (non-expired) government-issued ID or Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Signed Social Security Card (front and back)

Is it normal to be asked for these documents by a brokerage? This is my first time getting into trading and would like to make sure I'm not making a mistake of giving out unnecessary personal information.

I am a US citizen.

  • @LeoCHan then I find that quite odd. I've never been asked the questions that you were required to answer. Are you a US citizen?
    – NuWin
    Mar 27, 2016 at 18:38
  • I am a US citizen
    – BrockLee
    Mar 27, 2016 at 23:01
  • 1
    @LeoCHan Again that is odd. I wouldn't provide those information to them then. I'd suggest calling customer service and asking why those documents are required.
    – NuWin
    Mar 28, 2016 at 1:01
  • 2
    @LeoCHan All you would really need to provide during registration of a brokerage account is, your name, address, employer, SSN(not the card itself) and bank account info.
    – NuWin
    Mar 28, 2016 at 1:03

1 Answer 1


You do need to show ID and given them your SSN. I've never heard of needing to provide a birth certificate, and I don't recall ever having to actual provide a copy of a social security card. (They ask for the number, but not, in my recollection, the card itself.)

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