Frequently asked questions

Bank Safe Deposit Box


What is a bank safe deposit box?

A safe deposit box is a private, secured space or container located in the vault of a bank. This container is an inexpensive way to secure your prized possessions—jewelry, family heirlooms, important papers—and get the peace of mind you want.

What can I put in a safe deposit box?

You can put in almost anything you consider valuable and want protected from theft, fire, weather, or any other destructive event.

However, some banks do not allow cash to be stored in safe deposit boxes because it is not insured. You will need to check with your bank regarding any restrictions.

Many people use safe deposit boxes to protect valuables such as:

  • Jewelry
  • Small family heirlooms
  • Works of art
  • Family photos

You can also use them to protect important documents such as:

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Stock certificates
  • Inventories of your home's contents
  • Contracts
  • Life insurance policies
  • Wills

If you decide to store documents, make copies to keep at home so that you can access them if you need them quickly or when the bank is closed.

Also, consider giving a family member or attorney permission to access the box in the event you become incapacitated or die.

How do I access my safe deposit box?

You can access your bank safe deposit box during your bank's business hours. A bank employee will escort you to your box because, for security purposes, there must always be two people present when the box is open. And both people must sign signature cards at the time the box is opened. After you open and remove the safe deposit box, the bank employee will leave you alone in a viewing room to take care of your business.

Keep in mind: You’ll need to bring your key since opening a safe deposit box requires two keys: One is kept with you and the other with the bank.

Do bank employees have access to my safe deposit box?

No. In most banks, the box can only be opened when you are present with your key and accompanied by the bank employee with the other.

How do I access my safe deposit box?

They are not insured by the bank or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). But you can get a private insurance company to cover the contents of your box if you’d like.


Need help getting a safe deposit box?

Contact your local BBVA USA and ask about available safe deposit boxes.