I don’t quite know if I chose the right section on the site, but, nevertheless, how to identify a person by any documents within the law in different countries? If I understand correctly, in many countries such a document is a passport (in Russia for sure, since it is here that I live). However, how can you identify a person from the European Union or the United States? All I know is that the US uses the SSN, but even with this knowledge I don’t quite understand, what numbers can the user give us to identify him? How do you find out detailed information for each country so that their identity can be identified? I know this is a tautology. In any case, it is not necessary for us to identify the user in this way as real - you can find other options, as long as it can be done.

In general, I want to know whether it is possible to do this with people at all, because we need to have as few fraudsters as possible or people whom many have complained about (this is something like freelancing, but it’s necessary for the client to see the “freelancer” in reality).

Thanks in advance

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's only tangentially a question about the law. Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


In the United States there is no general law on the topic. Depending on the reason why you need to identify the person, and the role of the person examining the identifying credential, they may have a limited list of credential types they may consider or they may be forbidden from asking the person for certain credentials. See, for example, the California notary handbook for an example where only certain credentials are good enough, and the instructions for USCIS Form I-9 which gives the employee discretion about which credentials the employee will present to the employer when starting a new job.


This answer will different from country to country - however what is looked for is generally government / state issued ID (or a government recognised substitute). Passports must be close to a gold standard for 1 form of ID because they are government issued and need to meet certain internationally agreed criteria to be useable.

Another common solution is to use a driver's license, as most countries issue these on government authority.

Another common way to establish legitimacy (but not necceesarily name) is to require a nominal credit card payment and then have the exact amount reported back to you. Provided you can limit this to true credit/debit cards (and not present cards) it can establish a chain of identity to a financial institution which has identification requirements. Requiring a credit - not debit - card can also nominally gauge that the person is old enough to enter contract. It's not perfect though. Similarly sending out physical letters with access codes to be entered can tie a person to an address for service.

Other then these, there is no single applicable standard.

AirBNB has some interesting authentication procedures (like taking a talking head video and cross linking with other accounts) which you might want to look at.

Less commonly utilised may be some kind of multiple party attestation system, where a few existing users can vouch for a new user. PGP can in done ways do this in niche markets. Similarly, many countries legal professions gave duties to the state and can be called upon to verify things for a fee - look at "notary public"

  • If only I could +1 vote you. But thanks. Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 12:51

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