In a virtual work world, knowing that people are who they claim to be is a vital part of safety and security. That's why we routinely ask clients and freelancers to verify their identities. Successful work relationships start with a strong foundation of trust, and verifying who you are can help build that trust.

We'll let you know when it's time to verify (or re-verify) your identity by emailing you and by notifying you when you log into your Upwork account. There are multiple types of identity verification:

Sometimes, we'll only ask for you to verify one of the above. Other times, we'll ask you to verify all of the options. After you're notified, you have seven days to complete the verification before your account is put on hold.

In most cases, we'll be able to verify your identity within minutes once you submit your information.

Before you begin

Make sure you're ready to verify your identity by having the following ready:

  • A valid government-issued ID
    • The country on your Upwork profile should match the country of your ID
    • Make sure the names on your payment method, tax information, and tax forms match the name on your ID. Name mismatch? Contact support
  • A phone with a working camera
Types of government-issued ID

This ID must include your picture, signature, name, date of birth, and address, with the exception of passports, which don't need your address.

  • The documents we accept include passport, national ID card (NIC/CNIC), driver's license, NBI Clearance (Philippines only), tax ID, voter ID, postal ID, or any other valid government-issued photo ID that meets these criteria
  • For refugees and asylum seekers, we may accept UNHCR-issued documents, Asylum Seeker Temporary Visa, or Asylum Seeker Certificate

We cannot accept:

  • Student IDs, employee IDs, library cards, handwritten IDs, temporary IDs, photocopied IDs, military IDs, and health cards
Tips to capture an image
  • Take the photo of the ID from above, with the ID lying on a flat, dark surface
  • Don't cover up any part of the ID or your face
  • Leave margins on all sides of the image
  • Don't use a flash

To verify your identity

  1. We'll let you know when it's time to verify your identity. Make sure you've read the “Before you begin” section above and select the link in your email or notification to start the the process
  2. Follow the steps listed. You will need to scan a QR code to continue the process on your phone

If the images requested are captured successfully and match your profile information, your identity will be verified instantly. If you had to manually capture photos, it may take up to five business days to verify your identity.

Reasons you could be asked to verify your identity

  • To determine ownership of an account (including the U.S. Government Know Your Business (KYB) compliance program)
  • To confirm your location to comply with local taxes and regulations
  • To resume your account
  • For other reasons that we may deem appropriate to maintain the integrity of the marketplace

Unable to verify your identity

If you've received a notification that verifying your identity is required and you're unable to do so, you may not be able to continue working through Upwork. That means you may not be able to post a job, message, or work with freelancers.

Deliberately uploading falsified documentation is a crime and violators will be permanently suspended. Upwork may report users who attempt to send fake or falsified documents.

Important note about your privacy:

We take the protection of your personal information seriously. Access to your information is strictly governed by Upwork's privacy policy. We do not sell any of the information you submit to us, and after 30 days, the images you submit to verify your identity are deleted.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don't verify my identity?

If you don't verify your identity within seven days or are unable to pass verification, your account will be put on hold. The hold will prevent you from posting a job, messaging, or working with freelancers. Once you successfully pass the verification process, we will remove this hold.

Why are you asking me to verify my identity again?

We understand you may have verified your identity in the past. We ask clients to re-verify because periodic checks ensure that their accounts continue to reflect accurate information. Our goal is to make this process as seamless as we can and we thank you for your contribution in keeping Upwork a professional and safe community.

Where can I follow this process?

Go to Settings > Identity Verification to see where you're at in the process.

What if the name I go by doesn't match my name on my ID?

If your name on Upwork doesn't match the name on your government ID, contact support.

Upwork will make exceptions for transgender or non-binary individuals that have not been able to obtain a name change due to legal or other barriers. Documentation may be required. Please reach out to support.

Can I verify my identity and location if I travel often?

Yes, as long as your ID and profile address have the same country. Is it up to you and your freelancer to determine whether your travel schedule affects your work.

My country prohibits sharing ID documents with anyone other than law enforcement. What other documentation can I share?

We encourage you to comply with applicable laws. In fact, we require it in our Terms of Service. That said, we don't have knowledge of any laws that make it illegal to provide identification to someone other than law enforcement. If there is a specific law, let us know––we're happy to look into it.

My government-issued ID is not in English. Is that ok?

Yes, our third-party vendor's automated checks will review IDs in any language, and translators are available in the case that a manual review is required.

I live in the EU and I want my info deleted via the GDPR.

We delete the images you submit for identity verification within 30 days. Any resident of the European Union can request that we delete their information under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Once you request this, we have 30 days to respond to your request. Learn how to make a GDPR request to Upwork.

Why do I have to verify my identity?

Confirming that profiles are real helps protect the reputation of all clients. It also helps protect you from dealing with scammers. And it reassures your potential freelancers — knowing that you are a real person makes them more willing to trust you and work with you.

I'm having trouble verifying my identity.

Learn more about troubleshooting the identity verification process.

My country has laws that prohibit me from showing my ID.

We encourage all Upwork users to comply with applicable laws, and we require members to comply with applicable laws in our Terms of Service. However, we haven't found any law(s) that make it illegal to provide identification information to us. If there is a specific law that you'd like to direct us to, we're happy to look into it.

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