Today, Facebook launched its new authorization process that is required to run “electoral or issue-based” ads on its platform. Last year, Facebook announced that it would be introducing more controls over political ads but expanded that in early April, announcing “Increased Transparency and Accountability for Electoral and Issue Ads.”
We’re asking people who want to run political ads in the US to confirm their identity. This is part of our efforts to make political ads more transparent.
The information you provide will only be used to confirm your identity, and will not be stored or saved once the process is completed. You only need to confirm your identity once.
If you are going to run political ads on Facebook, here are the steps to authorize your page:
- Navigate to your Facebook Page’s Settings
- Click on the Authorizations tab on the left
- Provide your mailing address
- Upload a scanned image of your driver’s license or passport
- Enter the last four digits of your social security number
- Enter your confirmation code
- Link your ad accounts
The good news about digital advertising is that it’s easy for just about anyone to do. The bad news is that it’s hard to do well. Google and Facebook do a great job of walking you through the very basic steps required to get an ad running. But it takes a little more than those basics to do it well and earn the best return on your campaign dollars.
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Step 1: Navigate to your Facebook page’s settings
Go to your Facebook page and click on the Settings link at the top.
Step 2: Click on the Authorizations tab on the left
Next, click on the new Authorizations option along the tabs on the left. Click on the “Get Started” button to begin the process. Note: Before getting started, make sure you have high resolution (at least 1,500 pixels by 1,000 pixels) scan of your driver’s license or passport. You’ll need these in step 4.
Step 3: Provide your mailing address
The first question Facebook will ask is your mailing address. They’ll send you a letter to this address with a code that you’ll need to enter. This is how Facebook is attempting to reduce some of the advertising shenanigans we’ve seen recently.
Step 4: Upload a scanned image of your driver’s license or passport
Next, Facebook will ask you upload front and back photos of your ID. The minimum size for these photos is 1,500 pixels by 1,000 pixels. You can either scan them or take a photo using a smartphone. If you use a scanner, you’ll need to set it to a minimum resolution of 600 DPI.
Step 5: Enter the last four digits of your social security number
This last step is self-explanatory. You’ll receive a confirmation message, which states that they review the ID and social security numbers within 5 minutes. The verification letter takes from 3 to 7 days to arrive.
Step 6: Enter your confirmation code
When your letter arrives with the confirmation code, return to the Authorization settings and enter it.
Step 7: Link your ad accounts
The final step is to list the ad accounts that will be used to fund the Page’s political ads and enter a disclaimer for each.
Of course, the first thing you need to do is to accept the terms and conditions.
Facebook will then show you a list of ad accounts your account can access. Many of you will only have one account listed here. Select all that apply.
For each ad account you selected, Facebook will ask you to enter a disclaimer that will appear with the ads.
Finally, you review and submit the configuration.
After you’ve submitted the information, your account will be submitted for review.
For more information about why Facebook is requiring these steps, read our post, Facebook Changing Policies for Political Ads.
I entered my address and it was not approved. It’s telling me to review it but I can open that field again. Any suggestions?
Hard to tell from your comment where exactly the error is occurring or why. However, a number of people have mentioned problems trying to upload their photo ID. The requirements are fairly specific and the error messages they display aren’t particularly helpful. Make sure the image meets the exact specifications mentioned in the article.
Where do I go to list the ad accounts that will be used to fund my Page’s political ads?
You can go to this page in order to access your ad accounts: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/accounts/
It’s one of the menu picks if you click on the triangle in the very top-right corner of the page.
My account is verified but I still don’t have a blue check
That’s a separate process. Here’s a Facebook article about obtaining a verified badge. https://www.facebook.com/help/1288173394636262
I’ve tried repeatedly to upload a photo of my passport but nothing happens. literally nothing.
Judy, we’ve heard many reports of issues with this functionality. I experienced something similar when I tried uploading images. I received a very cryptic message and it turned out that the image I was trying to upload was not a high enough resolution.
Also, you might want to try clearing your browser cache and attempting to upload again.
I can’t get to the Authorization link on the left! PLEASE HELP – 214-842-2875.
Roger, have you created an ad account and linked it to your page?
You can also try this link to start the ID process (but this alone will not authorize your page):
I’m authorized as of a week ago, but I’m unable to publish ads with political content for my employer. I am an admin. How do I link my employer’s account to my own so I can publish ads? The pop up says the account is not authorized to publish ads with political content.
Hi Kristin – There are a couple of possibilities. First, I’m not sure if you’ve linked your personal account to the ad accounts. The Facebook Page and Ad Account are two different entities. You’ll need to be granted access to the ad account (not just the page) in order to link it to your profile. The other possibility, unfortunately, is a system bug. I’ve heard multiple reports from people (including some friends) who have completed the process properly and still are getting error messages. They’ve had to message Facebook support in order to get it resolved. I personally started receiving messages about non-political ads I ran 4 years ago that they have been “disapproved.” The system is riddled with bugs right now.
I have received all authorizations from facebook. Have a green check for confirmed on my identity. I have the ad account confirmed ad linked to the page. I am an admin. I have the disclaimer approved. I ran ads that had the political content switch present for some time. Suddenly the switch disappeared and I have been getting the message “Not Authorized for This Type of Ad. Your page hasn’t been authorized to run ads related to politics and issues of national importance. To begin the authorization process visit your Page’s settings.” I have messaged support at face book probably 20 times now with pics of all of the authorizations. Every time, I get a canned reply to check my page settings. I manage multiple accounts for my family’s businesses but only one political account. Is there anything else I can do or someone else that I can approach for help?
Hi Eric – Unfortunately, unless your ad spend is large enough to warrant a dedicated Facebook account rep, you have to rely on the standard, very frustrating help process. This whole political transparency function was put in place very quickly at Facebook and appears to be riddled with bugs and inadequate internal policy development and implementation. That said, from this vantage point I can only make two recommendations. First, keep trying with support. The sad truth is that sometimes it’s simply a matter of hitting the Facebook support lottery and reaching the right person’s desk (20+ attempts is a lot but not unheard of). Second, you could create a brand new ad account for the political ads, link it to the page, and try again. When it comes to commercial accounts, this is a frustratingly common tactic that advertisers must employ.
Follow-up question: Are you using Facebook Business Manager to manage all of these accounts? If not, you may want to try that.
My mailing address was confirmed but it still says that my ID and last 4 digits of my ssn are being reviewed. They have been under review now for a few months and now I am unable to run political ads for my clients. Is there anything I can do? I have posted on the facebook help forums but haven’t heard back from anyone.
Julia – Have you sent a formal support request? The support forums are a low priority for them and I have found very little of value there. Try the Facebook Business resources page and either send them an email or use the chat help. https://www.facebook.com/business/resources
Thank you so much! I was able to get in contact with someone who is looking into my case.
My address has been verified and I’ve tried uploading the pic of my ID and the picture is perfect quality on the phone but when it’s uploaded you can’t even make out the numbers especially on the back of the license.seems as if the uploading process is killing the image and I have no idea how to solve it please help.
Hi Chase – A lot of people have had trouble with uploading their photo IDs. You’ll want to check the camera settings on your phone to make sure that the quality is set to its highest level. I would make sure you’re connected to a wifi network while you’re uploading the picture.
It’s current set on High Efficiency would most compatible be better?
I work for a company that casts background extras for a television show. We use a Facebook page to post our casting alerts. Our page has no political affiliation and we absolutely never post political ads. However, we received a notice on our page that we needed to go through this process. Why could this be?
Hi Hayley – Unfortunately, Facebook’s ad platform has always been a bit flakey and inconsistent. With this new requirement for political ads, it’s become even worse. There are lots and lots of commercial pages getting their ads flagged. Remember that this policy is not just for political elections but “issue ads.” What exactly constitutes an “issue ad” seems to be somewhat of a moving target and subjective. If your ads touch a rail that is anything close to a political hot-button, it could trigger a rejection. Perhaps it’s the content of the television show – not sure.
I would try resubmitting the ad and see what happens. If it gets rejected again, contact support and see if they can illuminate you. But if the show’s subject matter is something that Facebook considers controversial, you may have to bite the bullet and get authorized.
I spent more than an hour scanning both sides of my driver’s license and can see the icon, in the pdf format that you require, on my hard drive UNTIL I try to upload it into your format! I don’t have time to fail over and over again!
Our Student groups is promoting a Candidate Forum event where political candidates have facilitated discussions with Scientists. Why is this event promotion subject to all of this political ad verification?
Unfortunately, Facebook’s policies are subjectively applied and so they’re not always consistent or predictable. I’ve seen lots of commercial FB advertisers caught up in this, too. Healthcare providers, for example, have been swept up in this authorization system. You can try appealing but at the end of the day, it’s up to them to decide whether or not they require you to be authorized.
Step 7 is where I am stuck.
Facebook will then show you a list of ad accounts your account can access. Many of you will only have one account listed here.
You were right, I only had one account listed (my personal FB account) so I clicked that and finished the process. However, I have a campaign page that I manage that I need to link as well, and no option was available. I typed in the campaign page ID number to add it, and received a system error message. Not sure if I’m doing something wrong, or it’s an issue with Facebook, Perhaps I need to wait for my personal FB account to be linked first before I can add others?
Joel, Your personal FB account must have privileges (advertiser or admin) on both the campaign page and the campaign ad account in order to be able to link them.
I am the admin of the campaign page.
What about the ad account? You need to be an admin or advertiser on the ad account also. Step #7 does not link your personal profile to the page (that’s already done). It links ad accounts to pages.
Under the ad manager I only see my personal profile ad account number. Not the campaigns one. I know my campaign accounts (Im admin) ID number, but when I type it in, I receive a system error.
My account is still having problems. I almost got the privilege to run ads then someone hacked my account. Really frustrating. I applied again before my I’d exired. Not cool what has happened. Was trying to fix it. Until that happened,
Are u saying I need to create an ad account specifically for my campaign page?
I have the campaign pages ID number. Therefore, doesn’t that mean it has an ad account?
So it would not accept my I’d and wants to to download a form to take and have notarized and upload it. But the form will not download. Where can I find this form?
Justin – this sounds like a fairly new step they’ve introduced. I’ve not heard of this before. Did some quick searching and could not find a reference to this document anywhere in Facebook’s support. If you haven’t already, try the Facebook Business resources page and either send them an email or use the chat help. https://www.facebook.com/business/resources
I have same problem with download. I am not running and have no intention of running political ads. I am trying to just exit this endless loop…
Jon – Do you know if it’s possible to go through the Authorization for Ads Related to Politics and Issues of National Importance process using the Facebook or Facebook Pages app?
Hmm. I’m not sure, Adam, but I don’t think so. I’ve only ever attempted it through a browser and in looking at their official guide, their instructions only apply to a web browser.
I answered the identification questions correctly but FB said it was wrong. Now I have to get a notarized form. I downloaded the form and went to a notary. The notary said this form is not correct because it is a combination of two different types of forms that can be notarized and it does not specify any state. The notary added some language to try to make it legal and notarized it. I uploaded it. FB rejected it with basically no information as to why and no way to appeal or contact anyone. The only option was to download another form. I did so. Went to a second notary. The second notary said the same thing as the first. The document is basically a hybrid of the two different types of documents that can be notarized. In order to make it legitimate, she had to attach the two different types to the form provided by FB. FB will not let me upload a three page PDF. Did FB not think to contact a notary prior to implementing an invalid type of notary form? Or is this purposely meant to be some kind of wild goose chase?
I am having the exact same issue. I cannot even download the form. I’ve sent them my DL and passport but somehow they are still saying that it doesn’t count. No way to appeal (even though they say there should be one). This is bullshit.
I don’t even want to run political ads. I got caught in this endless loop and am clueless as to why. I am trying to get out, but seem to be unable to. I submitted DL 2 or 3 times, they couldn’t read bar code, then submitted my passport. They have asked me to download a copy of a form to be notarized, but the download button doesn’t work and I can’t get their download.
I am trying to get my account authorized but I do not live in the United States. I live in Canada. Facebook will not allow me to authorize unless I live in the United States and can prove I live in the United States. I have edited all my content many times so that it doesn’t mention anything remotely related to politics or national importance but Facebook still flags my ads. This has been going on for weeks now and Facebook support is of absolutely no help whatsoever. Now my only solution is to find someone in The United States to authorize my account for me, but I don’t know anyone in the U.S. Is there anyone here from the U.S. who could authorize my account for me?
Unfortunately, that’s sort of the whole point of this authorization process is to restrict political ads to only US residents. Facebook is notoriously inconsistent with its application of advertising policies and there are lots of advertisers getting caught in this net of foreign collusion hysteria. Have you tried using the Business Resources page for support? https://www.facebook.com/business/resources
Hello, I have been authorized to run political ads but my ads weren’t confirmed and I get this error message. Any suggestions on how to solve this problem?
Complete authorization to place this ad: You must be authorized to run ads related to politics or issues of importance within the European Union. Learn more.Already authorized? You’ll need to check the box to identify your ad as related to politics or issues of importance within the EU
Once you are authorized, you still need to connect your profile to the Page(s) and ad account(s), where you configure the text snippet that identifies who paid for the ad. Make sure you’ve completed those steps. From the error message, it sounds like you may not have configured the ad properly by clicking the checkbox that’s required for political ads. It’s easy to miss and I frequently forget to click it.
I received the letter with a unique code in the mail – but there is no drop down box to put it in to confirm my ID. also, my license was rejected and no one was available to ask me the relevant questions on the day I submitted my ID material. But nonetheless I received a letter in the mail with the unique code at the physical address I had listed. This is an extremely poor system and FB should be ashamed of how hard it is for people trying to do the right thing. No one to actually repsond to questions except AI that just gives you the same material over and over. the date of my letter has expired now – but still no way to re-apply for authorization.
If I live in Canada and I am verified for political ads will I be able to sell political merchandise such as shirts to the US?
I’ve completed the authorization process now for two weeks and my mobile app version of my page still has a notification banner asking me to verify myself. When I go to repeat the process, it just takes me to the page that says “You’re Verified”. I can post as my page, but I can’t comment as my page or respond to customers as my page, only as my personal profile. Help?
Authorization is only required to run paid ads. It’s not required simply to comment on your page. It sounds like you need to switch between your page and personal profile.