Gareth Johnson
Gareth Johnson
Updated on March 10, 2022

Launched back in 2012, the US-based Coinbase is currently among the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges on the planet, toe to toe with other huge names such as Binance and Gemini. In the beginning, Bitcoin (BTC) was the only digital currency that Coinbase accepted — but today, it supports a variety of other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), to name just a few of the more popular ones. 

If you’re a beginner in crypto trading or interested to start using crypto trading platforms, bear in mind that Coinbase is a centralized crypto exchange. As such, it adheres to international financial laws, including AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) laws. In practice, this means that it has its users go through stricter verification processes to comply with these laws.

This article will help you understand the ID verification process on the Coinbase platform. Read on to find out what you need to do to verify your account and how long this procedure can take.

How Long Does Coinbase Verification Take?

Despite the strict laws it adheres to, going through Coinbase’s ID verification procedure is a fairly simple task. It will likely take you around 10 to 20 minutes to attach all the documents that Coinbase requires to verify your account. 

Coinbase steps to creating an account

From there on, the ID verification itself shouldn’t take more than 2 to 3 minutes. It might sometimes actually take longer, but this is usually under very specific circumstances and extraordinary situations. 

On the other hand, if you opt for the more professionally-oriented Coinbase Pro, you’ll have to go through two ID verification forms instead of a single one. The verification itself, however, shouldn’t take longer than the one on the regular Coinbase.com platform.

Why Should You Complete the Identity Verification?

As stated in the user terms on the Coinbase website, the exchange requires all Coinbase users to verify their ID to use the platform. The main reason for this is to ensure user security and prevent scammers from joining the platform.

ID verification at Coinbase is done on three levels. Each level comes with a different set of privileges and limitations depending on the document type you need to provide for it:

  • For the first level, you only have to provide Coinbase with a photo ID and a phone number. In doing so, you can use all payment methods to buy and sell crypto on a weekly, limited basis.
  • You reach the second level when you confirm your personal info by providing Coinbase with an identification document such as proof of residence. After you do so, you’ll be able to invest with no limits and buy/sell through wire transfer.
  • The final, third level requires you to provide a government-issued identification card, which will allow you to trade crypto on the blockchain.

The perks of verifying your ID include an additional layer of account security, as Coinbase prevents anyone but you from accessing and altering your personal information. Important credentials, such as your withdrawing bank account information, cannot be changed once you have gone through ID verification. If you add a withdrawal method, the information must match what is currently in your account.

Optionally, you can activate two-factor authentication and get a verification code on your mobile device, as well as a username and a password. From here, you can choose to use a hardware security key, a time-based one-time password, or an SMS/test authentication method.

How to Verify Your Coinbase Account

The document verification process on Coinbase is pretty straightforward. You begin by creating an account either on Coinbase’s website or its mobile app and then logging in to it. From the interface, you proceed by going to the “Settings” page and its “Limits and Features” section, which lets you verify your photo ID (for a level one access) and verify your personal information (level 2 and 3).

Woman smiling holding up visa ID

To verify your photo ID, you need a valid ID document issued by the authorities of your country of residence, which you can take a picture of and send to Coinbase (through its mobile app or as an attached document to its website). US residents can provide a photo of their ID card or driver’s license. For residents of other countries, Coinbase accepts passports, national ID cars, and government-issued photo IDs.

To verify your personal information, you should visit Coinbase’s verification page, where the exchange will ask you for information regarding your legal name (first and last name), date of birth, country of residence, and an ID number provided by the country. From there, the next step requires you to provide your full primary address. Finally, Coinbase will ask you for information on how you plan to use its exchange with multiple choices you can pick from, such as investing, trading, business, and more. After you give Coinbase this final piece of information, the only thing left is to wait for the exchange to verify it and you’re all set.

A Few Words Before You Go…

Coinbase is one of the most popular crypto exchange platforms in the world. As a regulated centralized exchange, Coinbase has to comply with financial laws and regulations in different jurisdictions across the world where it operates — notably AML and KYC laws. For this reason, the Coinbase exchange requires its users to undergo a somewhat lengthier ID verification procedure as opposed to what non-regulated exchanges require, with the aim of increasing the security of their customers’ accounts and blocking scammers from joining the platform.

If you’re considering using the Coinbase exchange, don’t be discouraged by the abovementioned delay: it takes you 10-20 minutes to attach all documents necessary for ID verification on Coinbase, and it shouldn’t take the exchange more than 2-3 minutes to verify your account. We hope this article helps you understand why it’s important to have your personal information verified on the Coinbase exchange platform, as well as what steps you need to go through to initiate the ID verification process yourself.