Government ID Verification


How does this Government ID check work?

First, the Couchsurfing app will ask you to take a photo of a government-issued identity card. This could be a passport, driver’s license or ID card. Once you have selected the document you’d like to verify, follow the on-screen prompts. Next, you’ll be asked to take a photo of your face using the camera on your mobile phone. This photo will be compared automatically to the photo on your ID card, to confirm that the card belongs to you.

That’s it! As this ID check takes a few minutes to process, you may not know the results of the scan right away. You’ll receive an email once the check is complete, to let you know whether the scan was successful or if there was an error you’ll need to fix. If there was an error that you are not sure how to fix, please contact Support so they can help you out.

Is this a required step of Verification? If I am already verified, do I need to go through this process?

Every step of Verification is optional and is not required to use Couchsurfing. Soon, however, other Couchsurfing members will be able to see if you have completed the identity check or not. If you’d like members to know that you have verified your profile completely, you should complete the scan.

Right now, this ID scan is only available on iOS and Android devices. If you do not have access to an iOS or Android device, we’ll unfortunately be unable to verify your ID at this time. 

How do you store my documentation?

We’ve partnered with Onfido to provide this service to our Couchsurfing members. All documents and photos are stored securely in their servers for the duration of your verification. We participate in the US-EU Privacy Shield Framework and have certified our adherence to the Privacy Shield Principles of Notice, Choice, Accountability for Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity and Purpose Limitation, Access, and Recourse, Enforcement, and Liability with respect to personal data collected from members in the EU. In accordance with this, we’ve ensured that our partner meets the same privacy standards and maintains bank-grade security using 256-bit SSL encryption. Couchsurfing does not store copies of documentation and photos used in the Identity Scan on our servers, but retains access to these documents throughout the length of a person’s membership.

What if I’ve changed my appearance?

The software used to match your photo to your ID card is prepared for slight changes to your appearance. If you’ve changed your appearance, go ahead and go through the flow. If the test fails, just write to the Support Team, and they’ll be able to manually review your photo and card. You'll receive an email with instructions of how to do so if your test fails. 

Why isn't it working with my app?

If you tried verifying your ID with your Couchsurfing app and you were not able to find the appropriate feature please check the app store for any updates. To verify your government ID through the app you'll need our most recent version of the app.


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