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 freelancers and clients to verify their identities.

We’ll let you know when it’s time for you to earn the Identity Verified badge (or re-verify your identity) by emailing you and by notifying you when you log into your Upwork account. We use a few different 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 your Upwork profile photo is yourself and accurately represents your current appearance
    • Make sure the names on your withdrawal method, tax information, and tax forms match the name on your ID. Upwork will use the name on the identity documents you give us as your verified name. 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 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. Please allow up to three business days for the badge to appear on your profile.

In some cases, we may need to review the documents you submitted and ask for more information, which may make this process take longer. When this happens, we’ll be in touch through email.

Reasons you could be asked to verify your identity

  • To determine ownership of an account (including the U.S. Government Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance program)
  • To confirm your location to qualify you for location-specific jobs and to comply with local taxes and regulations
  • To resume your account after a suspension
  • 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 can not submit new proposals or make withdrawals. Permanent suspension will lead to a return of your funds to clients.

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.

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 withdrawing earnings, submitting proposals to new jobs, accepting direct hires, or showing up in search results. Any active proposals that you have submitted will also be canceled. The hold will not affect your ability to work on existing contracts. Once you successfully pass the verification process, we will remove this hold. We will not refund Connects for any deleted proposals.

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 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?

You can have a distinction between the name on your profile and a verified name on Upwork.

An account and profile name on your account should be what you use to identify yourself in everyday life. It doesn’t have to match your identity document; you can use the name you’re most comfortable with.

Your verified name is on the identity documents you give us as your verified name. Your verified name will be shown on contracts and invoices only. Your verified name typically can’t be changed, however, if the name on your legal documents isn’t accurate (for example, if you changed your name due to a marriage or you don’t identify with the name and gender on your identity documents) you can contact us for help.

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.

How long does the Identify Verified badge take to appear?

After you verify your identity successfully, your badge will appear in up to three business days. Learn more about the Identity Verified badge here.

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

Yes, as long as your ID and profile address have the same country. If you’re in the U.S., you can still submit proposals for jobs where the client is requesting only U.S. freelancers, even if you travel. It will then be up to you and your client to determine whether your travel schedule affects your ability to meet their job requirements.

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 want Upwork to delete the information I submit

You may submit a request to Upwork related to the processing of your personal data. If you make such a request and reside in a location that provides a right to have Upwork delete your personal data (e.g., the EU, the UK, California, etc.), Upwork will respond and process your request according to its legal obligations. 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 freelancers. It also helps protect you from dealing with scammers. And it reassures your potential clients — 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
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.

Will you verify the identity of 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.

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 an agency member does not verify their identity?

We’ll place a hold on the account of an agency member who has not verified seven days after notification. 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, we’ll delete any existing proposals the freelancer has submitted. 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, we’ll lift the related hold. We will not refund Connects 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.

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