A user can activate a prepaid Visa card by going on the card provider's site or calling the toll-free number listed on the card, according to Visa. After activation, a card can be loaded by setting up a direct deposit or visiting participating retail locations.
Other loading options can also be found online, and more detailed activation instructions are found in the package provided with Visa prepaid cards or in the provider's website, reports Visa. Activation procedures vary depending on the provider, but all providers are required to collect specific information before the activation is final, and a user can load and use the card.
Federal law requires that all financial institutions collect, verify and retain information that helps identify any individual who opens a card account, according to Univision Communications. These regulations are part of the USA Patriot Act, and they are in place to help the government fight terrorism, money laundering and fraudulent activities. As such, an individual has to provide a full name, address, date of birth and possibly other identifying information such as driver's license, state identification, passport or Social Security number. Federal law also mandates that for security reasons P.O. box numbers are not acceptable in lieu of residential addresses. To enroll for a card, the user must also be age 18 or older.