Age Verification: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Updated

Below you’ll find some of the common questions we’ve received about Mastercard’s Age Verification requirement for Adult/18+ creators. We will add additional answers to any other common questions that emerge.

Quicklinks:

About the requirement and who needs to do it

What is Mastercard’s Age Verification requirement and why must Patreon comply?

Mastercard requires Patreon to have all creators sharing sexually explicit creations or creations that include nudity verify that they are over the age of 18. Patreon relies on this payments infrastructure to accept digital pledge payments and get creators paid.

Which creators need to do Age Verification?

Mastercard requires us to verify that Adult/18+ content creators whose pages include one or more works containing nudity or sexually explicit content are over the age of 18. These works can take any form, for instance: audio, text, and/or visual (including animations of human beings and/or depictions of human beings).

I’m categorized as Adult/18+ but have no sexually explicit content or nudity on my page. Can I opt out of Age Verification?

Yes, you are eligible to recategorize from "Adult/18+" to "Safe for All Audiences," which opts you out of Age Verification. Here’s how you can do that.

My page is mostly focused on other things, but does contain some sexually explicit content and/or nudity. If I remove all of that type of content, can I opt out of Age Verification?

Yes, if you remove every piece of sexually explicit content or nudity on your page, you are eligible to recategorize from “Adult/18+” to “Safe for All Audiences,” which opts you out of Age Verification. Again, here’s how you can do that.

Do I need to ask people appearing in my content to complete Age Verification, too?

We are required to directly age verify only the Adult/18+ creator running the page (that’s you). All creators sharing sexually explicit creations or creations that include nudity must obtain consent from each person depicted in their creations and to verify that each such person is over the age of 18. Patreon does not collect this information directly and instead provides creators with a consent form template that they may use for this purpose. When it is necessary to do so, however, Patreon may request that creators provide this information to Patreon.

The Age Verification process

What will Age Verification entail?

The majority of creators will submit a government-issued identification showing full name, birthdate, and photo (like a license, passport, or national ID), and you’ll submit photos of that document to a secure third party we detail below. You’ll also snap a photo of yourself in that moment (in other words, a selfie), that will be matched to the photo from the ID to confirm it’s you. We expect the process to take approximately 3-5 minutes to complete.

What if I don’t have a government-issued identification to submit?

You’ve shared lots of ideas for how we can prioritize inclusivity throughout this process. With that in mind, we’ve developed a list of alternative (non-government-issued) IDs we’ll be able to accept. If you’d like to go this route, there’s no action required immediately; we’ll share next steps with eligible creators in the coming months. If you are unsure if you are eligible for this option, reach out to us.

Which forms of alternative IDs might I be able to submit once you start accepting them?

We have prepared a broad list of documents that you may use if you are eligible to verify your age and identity with a government-issued ID. Collectively, the documents you submit must show your full name, date of birth, and photo. All documents must show the same name or else official name change paperwork must also be provided. If you are unsure if you are eligible for this option, reach out to us. Patreon has taken time to ensure things run as smoothly for Adult/18+ creators as possible.

What if my address has changed?

Since we aren’t required to verify any fields other than your full name, birthdate, and photo, if your address is out of date, that’s okay. 

Which platform is Patreon using for Age Verification? Can I complete the process in a language other than English?

We've enlisted a third-party vendor called Jumio that specializes in secure identification validation. And yes, Jumio is global in scope and able to accommodate the vast majority of languages for the convenience of Patreon creators.

In December 2021, Patreon said they’d use Stripe as the Age Verification vendor. Why the change of plans?

Creators let us know that maximizing the number of supportable languages and countries was important to you. Stripe is a little bit more limited on those fronts, whereas Jumio instead enables us to make life easier for creators by supporting nearly every country, language, and form of government-issued identification.

Will Age Verification occur on or off the Patreon platform? Can it be completed on desktop only, or mobile as well?

We have integrated Jumio’s verification product into our platform, meaning that while your information will be securely processed end-to-end by Jumio, you don’t have to leave Patreon’s website to complete the process. You’ll be able to begin the process from a desktop browser, mobile browser, or from within our iOS and Android apps. However, your progress will not be carried over if you attempt to switch between devices in the middle of the process. Verification only takes a few minutes to complete, so we expect most creators to be able to finish the process once they get started.

How soon is this happening and how will I be notified when it’s time to age verify?

Patreon has taken time to ensure things run as smoothly for Adult/18+ creators as possible. Adult/18+ creators already on the platform who are actively receiving subscription payments from patrons can expect to be notified on a rolling basis starting early 2023. These creators will receive regular prompts both over email and on the platform.

Will I be penalized if I never complete Age Verification?

Ultimately, page functionality and payouts will indeed start to become contingent on Adult/18+ creators completing Age Verification. Eventually, campaigns that still do not comply cannot be on Patreon.

Our intention here is not to be punitive, but rather to meet the payment processor’s terms while also preserving creator autonomy as best as possible. So rest assured: well before any payouts are impacted or pages are frozen, creators will have received regular reminders to ensure they are aware of the process and nothing comes as a surprise.

Data privacy

What steps are being taken to keep my information safe?

Creator privacy is incredibly important to us, and we made sure to select a vendor (Jumio) that specializes in secure identification verification. Jumio has received multiple information security certifications such as ISO/IEC 27001:2013, PCI DSS, and SOC2 Type 2. You can read more about what those certifications signify about Jumio’s security strength here.

I prefer to keep my name non-public. Will my name be published anywhere when I complete Age Verification?

Patreon will not use the information you provide during verification to update any of the public information on your account or campaign. We will never publicly share or sell personal information.

Will Adult/18+ creators’ identification data be cross-checked with local laws where the creators are located?

No. The identification data will be used to meet Mastercard’s requirement of verifying that the creator is above the age of 18.

Can I block out certain information on my ID that is not necessary to fulfill the requirement, like my address?

If you’re submitting a government-issued ID, we do recommend taking a clear picture of the complete document. However, as mentioned earlier, we will soon be accepting alternative forms of ID that collectively show your name, birthdate, and photo. So if you’d prefer to choose forms that do not display your address, you can do that.

I am a trans or nonbinary creator. My identification depicts my deadname, and/or my government misgenders me. How will Age Verification work in my case?

We recognize that asking for identification is deeply sensitive and personal, and that not everyone uses their legal or birth names in their daily lives. The option mentioned above, by which you can submit alternative IDs, may be a good path for you. In the coming months, we will share additional details about the alternative ID options that we’re able to accept. Additionally, we will never publicly share the name from the identification you submit. 

Miscellaneous

If I complete Age Verification, then eventually leave Patreon and later end up creating a new separate account, will I go through Age Verification once more?

If your new page is Adult/18+ and will feature sexually explicit content or nudity, then yes, you’ll complete the verification process again. We are unable to transfer verification status or verified information from one account to another.

Does Mastercard require that patrons complete the Age Verification process as well?

All patrons seeking to pledge to Adult/18+ campaigns are asked to confirm they are over the age of 18, but Mastercard does not require patrons to complete the formal Age Verification process.


Are there any questions we missed? You can reach out to the Policy team using this request form.

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