How Long Does It Take Coinbase to Verify Your ID (2024)?

Published: January 2, 2024 | Last Updated: May 28, 2023

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

When you sign up with Coinbase they will ask you to verify your ID. They do this in order to comply with KYC (Know-Your-Customer) laws imposed on them by regulatory authorities. The process is easy but sometimes it doesn’t run as expected. This can be frustrating if you are itching to trade as soon as possible on Coinbase. In this article, I will walk you through all you need to know about the verification process on Coinbase. I will share my experience and will show you how much time each step in the verification process takes and how to troubleshoot in case it takes longer.

how long does it take coinbase to verify id

How long does Coinbase verification take?

After you upload your ID on coinbase, verification usually takes 2-3 minutes.

You will receive an email confirming whether your identification card has been verified or not almost instantly.

In some instances, ID verification can take longer but for 90% of cases, it won’t take more than 2 hours.

How do I ensure that my ID gets processed quickly?

Coinbase uses a technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read the data on your ID. For this to work you need to help the software by making sure there are no smudges or glare on the photo that you upload.

99% of the time Coinbase will verify your ID within a few minutes.

If their software is not sure they will need a human to do this. In this case, the ID verification process could take up to 2 hours.

In my case, Coinbase’s OCR reader could not match what was written on my ID to what I had submitted when I filled in the address fields. You can skip to how I troubleshot it.

If Coinbase rejects your ID verification then you will have to wait 24 hours before you can try again. This is done for security purposes to ensure that no bots try to game their system.

id verification wait 24 hrs

Coinbase verification process

The ID verification level is the last stage of Coinbase’s multi-step verification process.

The number of levels differs per country.

In the United States, there are 3 levels of verification. Getting past the first level is almost instant. The second level can take up to 5 minutes. The third level takes about 8 minutes

In the EU and other countries, there are 2 levels.

Getting past the first level took me 6 minutes. The second level took me about 5 minutes complete but I got an email rejecting my proof of address within 2-3 minutes. I then spent a couple of days troubleshooting.

Verification Levels for US Residents

Level 1: Mobile Phone Verification

Time: 2 minutes

Getting verified for Level 1 on Coinbase takes a couple of minutes.

To get started trading on Coinbase in the US you only need to verify your phone number.

Once you confirm your mobile number via SMS you can invest up to $9,500 using your preferred payment method.

You will then be able to buy crypto by transferring funds from your bank account or your debit card or credit card.

Level 2: Personal information

Time: 5 minutes

This level allows unlimited investing. You can withdraw funds and you can store USD in your coinbase account.

To verify for level 2 you need to fill in your personal information.

Level 3: ID verification

Time: 8 minutes

This level allows you to send and receive crypto. It is most useful for active traders who use Coinbase Pro and want to be able to send their crypto to other wallets or exchanges.

To verify for level 3 you need to verify your photo ID by uploading a driver’s license or state-issued ID.

Uploading took me about 5 minutes. Then you get verified within 2-3 minutes. If a human needs to intervene it can take up to 2 hours.

US ID verification levels on coinbase

Verification Levels in the EU

Level 1: Phone number and ID

Time: 8 minutes

This level requires you to verify your phone number and photo ID. The phone verification is done via SMS and takes up to 3 minutes but is usually instant.

The Photo ID verification is also usually instant. If for some reason their document reader can’t read your upload then it can take up to 2 hours.

Level 1 allows you to buy and sell crypto but there is a limit across all your payment methods to how much you can transact.

So you can get started trading with level 1 but to have the full unlimited experience you need Level 2 verification.

Level 2: Proof of Address

Time: 5 minutes

At Level 2 you are allowed unlimited buying and selling of crypto and you will be able to send crypto outside of Coinbase.

To achieve Level 2 you need to verify your personal information by uploading a proof of address such as a utility bill or bank statement. Verification can take up to 2 hours. See the troubleshooting section if it takes longer.

EU ID verification levels on coinbase

Troubleshooting Coinbase ID verification

Sometimes Coinbase is unable to process your verification.

This can happen for a few reasons.

In this section, I will show you the most common issues that users face and how to troubleshoot them.

Why is Coinbase not Verifying my ID?

The two most common reasons are that

  1. Coinbase cannot recognize the characters on the document you uploaded. Make sure there is no glare, no wrinkles or tears, or smudges. To avoid glare try to take the photo in natural light. Place it on a white background and avoid using your fingers to hold it.
  2. The information on the document you uploaded does not match what you filled in. This means that you need to cross-check the information you provided when you signed up. Make sure all your information is correct. That you are using your legal name and not a nickname and that your address is the same as on the document you upload letter for letter.

If the issue persists then check Coinbase’s status page in case they are in maintenance mode. Alternatively, you can reach out to Coinbase support. There is a chatbot in the bottom left of their website and you can ask to speak to a human if the automated customer support does not work for you.

How do I know if my Coinbase account is verified?

Coinbase will send you an email once your account is verified. They will also send you an email if the account does not get verified.

Why is Coinbase rejecting my proof of address?

Overseas Coinbase users will be asked to upload proof of address. If you receive the ominous “We couldn’t verify your address” here is what you should do.

When you receive this email Coinbase will as you to verify again. If your address has not been verified, it means there is some mismatch between what Coinbase sees on your upload and what you entered as an address in the address field.

If you click on “verify your address” it will take you to the Coinbase website and ask you to verify your legal name and address. Make sure you spell your address exactly as it is spelled in the document you upload. Check for missing characters or misspellings. You will not be able to return to this section later on.

Make sure you get it right because you can only make one attempt per day.

we couldn't verify your address coinbase email

Why does Coinbase ask for ID verification?

All regulatory authorities around the world require that banks, exchanges, and other financial institutions comply with KYC laws and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes. This means that if a financial institution like Coinbase wants to offer you access to financial products it needs to know who you are.

This makes it easier to trace money and harder for terrorists, drug traffickers, and the mafia to go about their day-to-day business.

Coinbase has a Bitlicense to operate in New York as well as the requisite licenses to operate in almost every other state in the US.

Overseas it has a German license from the local regulatory authority, BaFIN, and plans to apply for other licenses as and when they become available.

However, even in jurisdictions where the regulatory landscape for crypto is gray Coinbase still makes sure to comply with KYC and AML processes.

How to verify your ID on Coinbase

Here are the steps you need to take in order to verify your ID on Coinbase. I am going to describe how to go about it in the US but the process for other countries is very similar.

Step 1: Open an account and verify your email address

If you have not set up an account with Coinbase you will need to do so by entering an email. Coinbase will send you a code to that address to confirm your email. This might take a few minutes. Make sure to check your spam folder if you did not receive it.

Step 2: Verify your phone number

Once you verify your email, Coinbase will ask you for your phone number. Select your country from the drop-down and enter your phone number.

Coinbase needs your phone number to enable two-step verification. This makes it harder for hackers to perform transactions in your name.

To verify your phone number Coinbase will ask you to enter a code sent to your phone via text message.

Step 3: Select your citizenship and verify your identity

At this step, Coinbase will ask you for your

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Social security number
  • Employment status as well as
  • Some questions about how you intend to use Coinbase.

Make sure the information you input here is correct.

Important: I recommend that you cross-check all your information at this stage before clicking on continue because the information you submit here has to match your documentation precisely.

Step 4: Additional information

Coinbase will ask you a couple of more questions such as about the industry you work in and the amount of funds you expect to transfer.

Step 5: Select ID type

US citizens can upload driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs.

Overseas citizens can upload a passport, national identity card, or government-issued photo ID.

Step 6: Upload your ID

For this stage make sure you have the required documents because you are going to photograph them

Coinbase will prompt you to take a picture of the front and back of your government ID.

For this reason, it is easier if you use the app. If you are on a desktop device you can take a photo using your phone and then send that photo to your laptop. However, it will be easier if you abandon the process on the desktop and continue with a mobile device.

Once you log in to the mobile app, Coinbase will prompt you to continue from where you left off.

If not you can always go to the id verification page by clicking on the top left menu and selecting Profile and Settings> Limits and Features.

Click on “upload” to verify your ID.

You will receive confirmation within the next 2-3 minutes via email.

Enabling two-factor authentication

When you first sign up Coinbase for a new account they will ask you to enable two-factor authentication.

To do this I recommend you download Google’s authenticator app. Follow the steps in the app to set up an authentication code for Coinbase. Now, every time you log into Coinbase, Coinbase will prompt you to enter the code from the authenticator app. This renews every minute and makes it very hard for hackers to cheat and enter your account.

How to view your verification level

Step 1. Open the Coinbase app and click on settings in the top left

how to verify ID on coinbase

Step 2: Click on Profile and Settings

This will appear just under your name. I have rubbed mine out in the screenshot below.

navigate to profile and setting on coinbase

Step 3: Select Limits and features

navigate to Coinbase identity verification

FAQs

Can I withdraw funds without verifying my ID on Coinbase?

N, you will need to verify your ID if you want to withdraw funds from Coinbase.

Can I verify my Coinbase account using a US passport?

No, US residents can only verify their account by uploading a driver's license or state-issued ID.

Does Coinbase verify instantly?

Yes ID verification is almost instant and takes 2-3 minutes for most people. However in some case it can take up to 2 hours. If your ID is rejected it will be 24 hours before you can upload again.

Can I verify Coinbase with passport?

You can use a passport if you are applying form outside the US. If you are a US resident you can't use a passport.

How long does it take to open a Coinbase account?

All in all it takes 15-20 minutes to complete all 3 levels of verification process. This is dependent upon you typing fast and having the required documents at hand.

How do you get level 3 verified on Coinbase?

You will need to upload ID verification to complete level 3 in the US. To do this navigate to setting in the top left and select Profile and Settings. Then click on Limits and Features.

New users who sign up to Coinbase also have the option to participate in Coinbase Earn. Check it out below

What Is Coinbase Earn: Learn How You Can Get Free Crypto

what is coinbase earn

The Coinbase Earn program is a crypto rewards system targeted at eligible Coinbase Account holders who are willing to learn and earn. It incentivizes learning by rewarding those eligible Coinbase users for their effort in the study and mastery of lessons gained from the educational content provided by the program. Read more.

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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