As we continue our work to help make sure Upwork is a professional, secure marketplace that clients, freelancers, and agencies can trust, we are moving toward requiring all earning freelancers to verify their identity. Once verified, you will receive an “Identity Verified” badge on your profile.
Right now, we are gradually rolling out this requirement. This means freelancers currently will fall into one of three groups:
- Group 1: Freelancers who have received an email/account notification letting them know that they are required to earn the badge.
- Group 2: Freelancers who have received an email/account notification letting them know they are eligible to earn the badge, but it’s not yet a requirement for them.
- Group 3: Freelancers who have received no notifications to earn the badge because they are not yet required or eligible to earn the badge.
If you are currently eligible or required to earn the badge you must pass two stages of verification:
- Provide a valid government-issued ID
- Complete a video verification call
Once we notify you that you are eligible or required to earn the badge, you can complete the two stages by going to Identity Verification in your Settings:
How do I earn this badge?
If you are eligible/required, you’ll be notified upon log in to complete the verification process by uploading a non-expired government-issued photo ID and meeting with us for a short video call. After we’ve confirmed your identity, the new badge will be displayed on your profile.
Note: users that are not eligible or required to participate cannot earn the badge.
How is this badge displayed to clients?
The “Identity Verified” badge will appear as a checkmark next to a freelancer’s name.
How do I become eligible to earn this badge?
At this time, only earning freelancers are eligible/required to earn the “Identity Verified” badge. If you become eligible/required, we will notify you when you log into your Upwork account.
Why are you asking me to verify my identity again?
We understand you may have verified your identity in the past. We ask freelancers to re-verify because periodic checks ensure their accounts continue to reflect accurate information. Our goal is to make this process as seamless as we can and thank you for your contribution in keeping Upwork a professional and safe community.
What happens if I do not pass the verification process?
Freelancers that are required to verify but do not do so within 7 days of our notification will have their accounts placed on hold. The hold will prevent freelancers from withdrawing earnings, submitting proposals to new jobs, accepting direct hires, or showing up in search results. Any active proposals that have been submitted will also be canceled. The hold will not affect your ability to work on existing contracts.
Once you successfully pass the verification process, this hold will be removed.
How long does it take to verify?
For many freelancers, the process takes just 10 minutes. In some cases, we may need more time to review the submitted information and it can take 1 to 2 days. We encourage freelancers to verify as soon as they can to avoid a hold on their account.
How are you keeping the information I share safe?
To protect your personal information, access to the information you submit to Upwork to verify your identity is stored by Upwork, per our security policy
and the third-party vendor that handles these requests does not store any identification data. We do not sell any of the information you submit to us. After 30 days, the image you submit to verify your identity is deleted.
I live in the EU and I want my info deleted via the GDPR
Thanks for reaching out. Any resident of the European Union can request that we delete their information under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Once you request this, Upwork has 30 days to respond to your request. To learn how to make GDPR request to Upwork, click here.
Will you (can you) IDV all members at once?
As an agency owner/business manager, you can encourage your agency members to complete this as soon as possible. However, each member needs to complete the process on their own.
Some agency members don’t have the option to complete the process.
To handle the volume, we are currently only requiring earning agency members to complete the process. Agency members will be notified when it becomes a requirement for them. Until then, please continue to ensure that any agency member’s profile information matches their true identity.
How can I update the member profile to match their real identity?
To maintain trust, it’s important that the profile reflects the agency member’s true identity. Please hide that account from your agency and have that member create a new Upwork account with the correct identity information (accurate name, photo, address, etc.)
What happens if they don't respond?
Agency members who have not verified 7 days after notification will have their accounts placed on hold. The hold will prevent them from submitting proposals for new jobs, accepting direct hires, or showing up in search results on behalf of your agency. Also, any existing proposals the freelancer has submitted will be deleted. Members can still work on existing contracts while on hold and will be able to verify their identity to earn the badge. Once they successfully verify, the related hold will be lifted. Connects will not be refunded for any deleted proposals.
Can members try to verify their identity several times?
Users can attempt to verify their identity multiple times if they fail due to technical issues. However, users that fail due to violating our Terms of Service (e.g., submitting a fake ID) may be permanently suspended.
What do you recommend I do for a large agency with lots of members?
Many agencies on Upwork use fixed-price contracts when working with clients on Upwork. In these cases, only one agency member needs to be hired (e.g., the agency owner or business manager) without requiring profiles for other team members. To ensure accurate billing, hours billed on hourly projects must be billed by the freelancer on the account.
How do I know an agency member is now required to complete the process?
We’re in the progress of adding notifications for agency owners and business managers to know when a member is required to complete the process. Until then, you can check each member’s profile for the Identity Verified badge, which is a blue checkmark next to a freelancer’s name.
Does the EU GDPR impact ID verification?
We encourage all Upwork users to comply with applicable laws. In fact, 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.
Some agency members don’t have the option to get the badge.
We are rolling out this requirement to earning freelancers. We’ll notify that member when they log into our site when it’s time for them to verify their identity.