Understanding online ID verification and why it’s important

online ID verification

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People need to verify their identity when they get a new job, open a bank account, apply for a mortgage, and more. With business transactions becoming increasingly digital, the popularity of online identification verification is exploding. Not only does this save businesses and consumers time and money, it’s also a safer option in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ability to offer online ID verification also gives businesses the opportunity to expand their customer base beyond their immediate geographic location. Going digital also helps companies avoid common errors and fraud that can occur when verifying identification manually.

Understanding Online Identify Verification

The process of verifying identity online is similar to what it is in person except that the format differs. Below are the typical steps involved.

The person verifying their identity scans a copy of their driver’s license or identification card and uploads it to their computer. The company requesting the verification sends the applicant an email that prompts them to verify their identity by submitting the uploaded copy of their driver’s license or identification card.

Next, the company requesting ID verification employs software that analyzes the uploaded ID for watermarks and other security marks to ensure its validity. A company representative then checks the name on the submitted ID with the name on the application to make sure they match. These are some of the specific things the ID verification software analyzes:

  • The ID presented has not expired
  • No evidence of tampering exists such as a hole in the ID, improper spacing between letters, or a different font type than other printing on the ID
  • Holograms and visual features are consistent with identification issued by the applicant’s state of residence
  • The string of letters on the bottom of the ID known as the Machine-Readable Zone are legible

Online Verification Program Examples

DocuSign has popular online verification program that companies use to collect electronic signatures and verify identity. After receiving an invitation via email to sign documents electronically, DocuSign directs the applicant to areas on the forms he or she needs to sign. The company receiving these documents also stores a copy of the applicants previously submitted ID. Merging the processes of identity verification with signature collection provides a seamless experience for both parties.

Alternatively, the DocuTector software program takes a forensic photo of each document to ensure that it contains the expected security features and physical characteristics. The original intent of the program was to provide government entities and certain commercial agencies with access to quick verification. Thousands of organizations use it now due to the increased demand for online identity verification.

For the price of a subscription, DocuTector cross-references more than 1,200 ID documents and 6,000 security images before declaring a document or piece of identification as valid. DocuTector can analyze any driver’s license or identification card from the United States or Canada along with several other types of identification worldwide. This includes passports, military identification cards, and non-immigration visas.

Verifying identification online once seemed like a novelty that people would rarely use. The same was true of online shopping and banking that has now become commonplace. With the coronavirus still a concern and the acceptance of completing transactions online rather than face-to-face, online ID verification will soon be just as common as shopping or banking from home.


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