If you have tried registering a bank account or some other accounts either online or offline that require verifying your identity, a need to submit your utility bills is something you’ll be hearing often. What is considered a utility bill and what isn’t considered one?
Generally, things we will consider as utility bills will have slight differences, and these definitions are based on where we live in most cases. So, some documents that will be acceptable utility bills in an American household will be unacceptable in some other country or part of the world. But the definition pretty often remains the same, let’s talk about this.
What Is Considered A Utility Bill?
So what are considered utility bills? Any bill that is received from the government or the local town in response to the product and service usage in an apartment or building, and by a family or individual. Bills that fall under utilities are not as broad as some make them to be.
For most people and countries, utility bills include gas, electrical, water, waste disposal, and any services that are being supplied by the government or one of its offices in the area you live. This would mean things like cable TV, internet bills, and phone bills are often debatable, and some institutions don’t accept these as utility bills.
Is a Phone Bill a Utility Bill?
A fixed or landline telephone is considered a utility bill in countries like the USA, UK, and Canada, while wireless or mobile phone bills are not considered acceptable tenders when a utility bill is requested. Since mobile phone and internet plans these days are pay-as-you-go, they will generally be considered by a household or business as expenses and not utility bills.
Another reason would be because most phone companies and ISPs don’t really care much about the address a phone is registered to, so it’s way too easy for a customer to enter any address they want on these accounts. With landline bills and other utility bills, the company requesting them are doing so to confirm your address in most cases, hence they being acceptable and internet and mobile phone bills being unacceptable.
Is Car Insurance A Utility Bill?
No, car insurance is not considered a utility bill in most places. If you remember how we defined utility bills earlier in this article, they are any services that are designed to keep the household running seamlessly, services that are mostly provided by the local government. Car insurance doesn’t fall under that category, and most firms who need to verify your address wouldn’t accept it. The DMV, though, may accept your car insurance as a way to verify your address.
Is Internet A Utility Bill?
No, internet bills are not considered utility bills by households and businesses. Internet bills, like phone bills, are considered just expenses. For something to be an acceptable utility bill, it needs to be coming from an independent, trusted body, and for many countries, bills from the government are the most trusted. And this is why mostly electric, gas, waste, and water bills are accepted as utility bills.
ISPs don’t go through a lot of checking to confirm the address of customers, hence people can include any addresses on their phone plans and wouldn’t have issues. And since most internet usage is now pay-as-you-go, the bills aren’t seen as trusted proofs of residence.
How to Get a Utility Bill
Wherever you live, utility bills are often requested as a way to verify the address you claim to live in, so the first step towards getting a utility bill would be having a somewhat permanent address.
While many landlords will allow tenants get separate utility bills, some landlords receive a single utility bill for all occupants and then factor the bills into the rents paid by tenants. If you live in a house like the latter, we generally recommend contacting the landlord to request the utility bill for the apartment you live in.
Depending on the country you’re living in, organizations might accept the same utility bill from multiple tenants in a house even if the name on the bill is that of the landlord, in which case you would need to fill some other documents to show you truly live there.
For landlords or people who live in their family homes, most electric, gas, waste, or water bills will automatically start coming as soon as you start to use these resources.
So how do you get a utility bill? You can request one from your landlord if you live in a home with multiple tenants and the bills aren’t coming automatically, while if you live in a family-owned home, you should start getting bills for the electricity, water, waste, or any other services being provided by the local government automatically.
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