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In a few contexts, Wikipedia contributors are required to provide identification of their real-life identity. This page describes those situations and the process involved.


The Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees has had a policy in place since 2007 called "Access to nonpublic data policy". It requires that any individual who has access to certain non-public data is required to provide identification to the Wikimedia Foundation that verifies that the individual is over the age of 18 or over the age of majority, whichever is greater.


On the English Wikipedia, all users who wish to be CheckUsers, Oversighters or users involved in the request-an-account process are required to provide identification to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Outside the English Wikipedia, all users who wish to be Stewards must provide identification, as must individuals running for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. System administrators, Foundation election officials, ombudsmen, and various others are also required to be identified.

Members of the volunteer response team are required to submit their real names and age before being granted access, and may be required to provide verification at the discretion of the Foundation or volunteer response team leaders.


At Meta-Wiki, there is an Identification noticeboard that a designated individual working for the Wikimedia Foundation updates. That individual is currently Wikimedia Foundation employee Philippe Beaudette, or his designees, Maggie Dennis and James Alexander. A steward will not grant CheckUser or Oversight permissions without the account being listed at the noticeboard.

Individuals are required to submit a passport, driver's license, national identity card or other type of official document. The document may be redacted to remove extraneous personal information, though the issuing authority, document number, the subject's name, and the date of birth must be clear and unobscured.

Steps to becoming Identified[edit]

In accordance with the Board Resolution: Access to Non-Public Data, Wikimedia requires acknowledgment and proof of identity and evidence of age of majority prior to enabling access to secure and sensitive information. This proof may be provided in one of the following manners:

  1. Copy or scan of driver's license.
  2. Copy or scan of passport.
  3. Copy or scan of other official documentation indicating real name and age.

This may be provided to us in one of the following manners:

  1. via email to
  2. via facsimile to +1 (415) 882-0495
  3. via post (snail mail) to:

Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
San Francisco, CA 94107-8350
149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor

Please also make sure you provide your username and the name of the wikis for which you require identification.

If you would like to discuss some other options for satisfactorily identifying yourself to the foundation, please contact any member of the board of trustees, or any of the staff members listed above.

Data retention[edit]

The identification information provided to the Wikimedia Foundation is not retained after the Identification noticeboard is updated.[1]

See also[edit]