About verification for election advertising in the United States

Google requires verification for advertisers who want to run election ads. This verification is required for all ad formats and extensions.

Applications for verification will be open starting May 31, 2018. The application process may require two steps and can take up to 3-5 business days. See the requirements for verification below for more details.

Important note on ad disclosures

Election Ads: Google requires that all election ads contain a disclosure identifying who has paid for the ad. For most ad formats, Google will automatically generate a “Paid for by” disclosure, using the information provided during the verification process. The disclosure will display the name of the entity that paid for the ad to users who see the ad.

How disclosure appears in different ad formats 

  • On Google Search and the Search Partner network, the disclosure will show in ads directly
  • On YouTube, the disclosure will show in “Why this ad?” which can be accessed through the info icon Info icon or the 3-dot icon 
  • On websites and apps that partner with Google for display ads, the disclosure will show in “Why this ad?” which can be accessed through the AdChoices icon AdChoices icon

For some ad formats and features, it’s the advertiser’s responsibility to include in-ad disclosures in United States election ads. Learn more about the policy.

To provide transparency for users, Google will also publish a Political Advertising transparency report and a political ads library with data on funding sources for election ads, the amounts being spent, and more.

Other ads: For ads you run that are not election ads, most ad formats will contain a disclosure using the information provided during the election advertising verification process. This means that your name, or the name of the organization or business you represent, and country, will be displayed in a disclosure that is automatically generated by Google. Find out more about Advertiser transparency and disclosures.

Requirements for verification

You can be verified to run election ads as an organization or an individual.

  • You're an organization if you are a political committee, non-profit organization, business, or other entity. If you need to be verified as an organization, the “Account type” selected for your Google Ads payment profile must be “Business.” 
  • You're an individual if you don’t meet the criteria for being verified as an organization. If you need to be verified as an individual, the “Account type” selected for your Google Ads payment profile must be “Individual.” 
You can check your “Account type” in your Google Ads payment profile via the “Settings” page for “Billing & payments.” Note that your “Account type” can’t be modified. If your “Account type” is “Individual,” but you need to verify as an organization, or vice versa, we recommend that you create a new Google Ads account with the appropriate “Account type” setting, before applying for verification.

If you’re an agency or someone who manages multiple Google Ads accounts, each individual account planning to run election ads will need to apply for verification. Note that advertisers should verify the end advertiser, not the agency or intermediary acting on their behalf. For example, an agency advertising on behalf of a political party should verify as the political party.

Verification for organizations 

You must be an authorized representative for your organization in order to complete the two steps of this verification process. To be an authorized representative, you need to be a full-time employee of the organization, or if applicable, a representative of the agency representing the organization. You’ll also need access to the organization’s Google Ads account.

Step 1: Verify eligibility to run election ads

In the application form, you’ll be asked to provide the following, as the authorized representative:

  • Your Google Ads Customer ID
  • Your name
  • Valid Federal Election Commission ID (FEC ID) for the organization or state elections regulator registration or ID number (if applicable). If you don't have an FEC ID, you may instead provide a valid federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the organization, along with a copy of its W-9 or IRS verification letter (CP 575).
  • Email address:  This must be the email address used for your organization's FEC electronic filing (if available), or the email address of your organization.
  • Organization name: The organization name provided here must exactly match the name associated with your FEC ID or EIN provided above, including any capitalization and punctuation. This name will also be visible in the ad’s “Paid for by” disclosure, as well as in the Election Advertising transparency report and the election ads library.
  • Organization’s address: This must match the address associated with your organization’s FEC or EIN registration 
  • Attestation that you’re a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident 
  • Attestation that the organization applying for verification is based in the United States and is legally permitted to run election ads in the United States
  • Agreement to Google’s election advertising terms

Verifying eligibility to run election ads can take up to 2 business days.

Step 2: Verify your identity

Once Google verifies your organization’s eligibility to run election ads, you’ll receive an email and an in-account notification (in a red bar at the top of the Google Ads account), that guides you through the identity verification process in Google Ads.

As noted above, you must be an authorized representative for your organization to complete this step.

To verify, you’ll be asked for the following:

  • Organization name
  • Valid federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the organization
  • Organization’s address: This must match the address associated with the organization’s EIN registration
  • Your name 
  • A copy of your government-issued photo ID (a current U.S. passport, state ID, or driver’s license)
  • Attestation that you’re a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident 
  • Attestation that the organization applying for verification is based in the United States and is legally permitted to run election ads in the United States.
  • Agreement to Google’s election advertising terms

Verification for individuals  

Step 1: Verify eligibility to run election ads

In the application form, you’ll be asked to provide the following:

  • Your Google Ads Customer ID
  • Name: This name should match the name in your Google Ads payment profile (which you can view in the “Settings” page for “Billing & payments”)
  • Valid Federal Election Commission ID (FEC ID), or if applicable state elections regulator registration or ID Number. If you are not assigned a registration or ID number, you may provide a copy of your registration form. Please also provide us a link to your registration page to expedite the verification process
  • Address: If you’ve entered an FEC ID, this must match the address associated with your FEC registration
  • Attestation that you’re a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident, and are legally permitted to run election ads in the United States
  • Agreement to Google's election advertising terms

Verifying eligibility to run election ads can take up to 2 business days.

Step 2: Verify your identity

Once Google verifies your eligibility to run election ads, you’ll receive an email and an in-account notification (in a red bar at the top of your Google Ads account) that guides you through the identity verification process in Google Ads.

To verify, you’ll need to provide the following in Google Ads:

  • Name: Your name as provided here must match the name in your Google Ads payment profile (which you can view in the “Settings” page for “Billing & payments”), and will be visible in the ad’s “Paid for by” disclosure, as well as in the Election Advertising transparency report and election ads library 
  • Date of birth 
  • Social Security number
  • Address: This should match the address in your payment profile (which you can view in the “Settings” page for “Billing & payments”)
  • A copy of your government-issued photo ID: If the ID is not a current U.S. passport or a Permanent Resident Card—for example, if it’s a state ID or a driver’s license—you’ll also need to provide one of the following proof of citizenship documents
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
    • Certificate of Naturalization
    • Certificate of Citizenship
Note: If the name on your government-issued photo ID doesn’t match the name on your proof of citizenship document, you’ll also need to provide a copy of one of the following proof of legal name change documents:
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decree
  • Adoption Decree
  • Court Order
  • Attestation that you’re a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident, and are legally permitted to run election ads in the United States
  • Agreement to Google’s election advertising terms

How to apply for verification

You can apply for verification using this application form. You’ll be asked to complete the steps detailed above for organizations or individuals.

Google will review your application and send you an email notification about your verification status within 3 to 5 business days.

Keep in mind

  • Because information in the Google Ads payment profile is used for verification, if you make changes to your payment profile in Google Ads, you’ll need to complete identity verification again. You’ll receive an in-account notification when this is required.
  • If we find that you violate our election advertising, or you’ve provided false information during the verification process, your verification will be revoked, and your account may be suspended. 
  • You’ll need to renew your verification periodically. You’ll receive a notification when this verification is required.
  • Google may update these verification requirements at any time.

How Google uses your information

With the information you provide during the verification process, Google will verify your identity and eligibility to run election ads.

  • For election ads, Google will:

    • Generate, when possible, an in-ad disclosure that identifies who paid for your election ad. This means your name, or the name of the organization you represent, will be displayed in the ad shown to users.

    • Publish a publicly available Political Advertising transparency report and a political ads library with data on funding sources for election ads, the amounts being spent, and more.

  • For all other ads, Google will:

    • Generate, when possible, an in-ad disclosure using the information provided during the verification program. This means that your name, or the name of the organization or business you represent, and country, will be displayed in a disclosure shown to users. Find out more about Advertiser transparency and disclosures.

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