How Long Can a Bank Account Be Inactive?

Opening a bank account has become very easy especially after 2015 thanks to PM Jan Dhan Yojana which provides zero balance accounts to individuals.

This scheme has made its way to grass root of India providing economic equivalence to lakhs of people in India.

But the big issue that arises with a zero balance account is opening of account without needing it. People jumped at this opportunity to open an account, hence, some people opened too many accounts which tend to be Dormant or inactive.

In this article, we will discuss How Long a Bank Account Be Inactive, what is an inactive account, what a Dormant account is, guidelines by RBI, and much more.

How Long Can a Bank Account Be Inactive

What is an Inactive Account?

An inactive account is an account which is not been used for more than 12 months. A Bank account is used for debit and credit purposes but when there is no debit or credit from the account for more than 12 months then that account is considered to be inactive.

When an account becomes inactive, any cost that the customer is required to bear for keeping the account active will be levied. However, for certain accounts, the bank may charge some fee to re-activate the account.

What is a Dormant Account?

A Dormant account is an account which is not been used by the customer for more than 24 months. First, the account gets inactive status and then the inactivity gets converted into the Dormant account status if the account is not been used for more than 24 months.

Guidelines by RBI on Inactive/ Dormant Accounts

The following are the guidelines by RBI for Inactive/Dormant Accounts-

  • Customers with inactive accounts will receive proactive communication from the bank, detailing their account status and the reasons for inactivity.
  • The bank provides customers with a response period of one year after notification, allowing sufficient time to reactivate the dormant account.
  • In the assessment of account activity, the bank considers all transactions initiated by customers or third parties while excluding service charges and interest.
  • Customers can reactivate their dormant accounts without incurring any additional charges
  • The bank assures customers of consistent interest crediting to their savings accounts, regardless of the account’s activity status.
  • Unclaimed Fixed Deposits Account that matures will attract savings bank rates of interest, ensuring that customers receive their entitled returns.

How to Active Inactive or Dormant Account?

In case you want to activate your inactive savings account, then you can easily do that by simply making transactions from your account. You can pay some bills, cash deposits, withdrawals, etc.

Banks that provide online or mobile banking facilities reactivation process can be done online. If your bank makes the online or mobile banking inactive along with your account then, you can reach out to the bank’s branch or customer support for assistance in account reactivation.

The Dormant account requires a formal request to the bank requesting reactivation and providing proof of identity. You’ll have to visit the bank and submit the reactivation form, proof of identity, and a Xerox copy of your identity.


How can I determine if my account is inactive or dormant?

In case, your account did not have any transactions from your account for more than 12 months then the account will be considered inactive, and the dormant account will be considered dormant if the account is inactive for more than 24 months.

What documents are required to reactivate a dormant account?

To reactivate your dormant account, you’ll need to submit the reactivation form along with proof of identity like an Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, etc.

Are there any charges for reactivating an inactive or dormant account?

No, there are no charges for reactivating an inactive or dormant account as per the RBI rules. However, if there were any unpaid charges then the bank may or may not charge those dues depending from bank to bank.

Can I reactivate a dormant account after it has been inactive for a long time?

Yes, you can reactivate a dormant account even if it has been inactive for an extended period.

Can I reactivate a dormant account through online banking?

Yes, some banks offer the facility to reactivate dormant accounts through their online banking platforms. You can log in to your account and follow the reactivation procedures specified by the bank.s

Can I reactivate an account that has been inactive for over three years?

Yes, you can do that however, you are required to submit the reactivation request along with proof of identity to the bank directly by visiting the bank branch.