Step 1: Confirming your phone numberThe first step is verifying your mobile phone number. Most bitcoin exchanges send you a text message to that phone number with a code. That code needs to be entered on a specific page during the verification process in order to verify that you have access to that mobile number in case of an emergency, or during an account's password-recovery process.
Step 2: Providing personal IDThe next step usually requires you to verify your identity by providing a copy of personal identification. Depending on the bitcoin exchange platform you're using, these documents can range from a scan of your ID or driver's license and a recent utility bill, to a copy of your birth certificate or passport.
The types of ID documents required depend on how much you are expecting to trade through your bitcoin exchange. Larger amounts require stricter verification, and thus more sensitive personal information.
And this is one of the major struggles novice users face when verifying their identity and purchasing bitcoins for the first time. Besides the information that needs to be submitted, there's also a waiting period that must be taken into account before these documents are verified. Most major bitcoin exchanges get these documents reviewed within a few hours, but there have been reports of delays taking up to a week.
Whenever you submit any documents, always make sure everything is clearly legible, as this will make the verification process a lot smoother.