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Registration / Start Guide

Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk) Registration / Sign-Up

Click the highlighted link on mTurk to create an Amazon & mTurk account or sign up for mTurk through your existing Amazon.com account.

Initial registration for mTurk is straightforward. A new user begins by registering their existing Amazon.com account with mTurk while confirming some general information (name, address) and agreeing to both the Amazon Mechanical Turk Participation Agreement and the Amazon Mechanical Turk Privacy Notice.

After doing the above the new account will be placed under review for approval. This review is usually completed within 2 business days and will result in approval or rejection from mTurk. During this time it can be beneficial to collect certain documents that may be required for the next step, setting up your Amazon Payments account.

Family/Multi-Person Home Turking

Amazon is accomodating of workers & their family members turking from the same location as long as they have their own unique e-mail and bank account. No two users may share a single bank account or e-mail address.

Some surveys and HITs will rule users out by IP Address, even if you're on separate accounts. While unfortunate, its best to not try to circumvent these measures as it can affect researcher's work. Some Turkers use a VPN or tethered cell phone connection to circumvent these restrictions, if you chose to go this route make sure you do not discuss survey content with your spouse/etc.

Amazon Payments Registration & Verification

Once your mTurk account is approved you'll need to enter and verify your information for Amazon Payments in order to withdraw earned funds to a bank account.

American / US Resident Turkers

For most applicants you'll submit your name, address, social security number (SSN) and have your information automatically verified. Amazon submits your information for confirmation with the IRS, so if you've filed taxes and submit the appropriate data you'll likely only need the information under "Most Registrations."

If, however, you've never filed taxes, your information has changed, or Amazon is otherwise unable to verify you through the IRS system you'll have to go through the process of "proving" who you are and the documents in the second table can be helpful in doing so. More information can be found on this situation in this section.

Some commonly referenced documents include:



Most Registrations

Failed Verification Registrations

  • Bank Account Number
  • Bank Routing (ABA) Number - ABA Routing Lookup
  • Online bank account login information (fast verify)

  • Driver's License / Photo ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Bank Statements
  • Voter Registration
  • Utility Bills

Indian Turkers

Indian Turkers are the only International group capable of receiving payments to their local bank account and currency.
Some commonly referenced documents include:
Permanent Account Number (PAN) card
IFSC Bank Code
Bank Account Number

Other International Workers

Workers not originating from the United States or India may only withdraw earnings to their Amazon.com (US) gift card balance. They cannot withdraw to the Amazon website associated with their country of origin, only the US version of the site. Great consideration should be made on the cost of shipping on the US site when deciding if participating on mTurk is worth an International workers time/effort

Rejected or Suspended Amazon Payments Accounts

Having your payments account rejected or suspended can be a frustrating and stressful experience. The most important thing you can do is remain calm and polite as you work through the steps to fix the issue.

Begin by contacting Amazon Payments support through the phone. Some workers suggest starting with faxing documentation to a list of fax numbers but others have reported a permanent ban implementing this method. It is probably safest to attempt contacting a representative first. You can submit a form for immediate callback here or use the known Amazon Payments phone number below:

866-216-1075

Once you've contact a representative you'll likely need to begin faxing Amazon documentation that supports the verification of your identity. The recommended list of documents to include is usually:
  • Driver's License / Government Issued Photo ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Bank Statements
  • Voter Registration
  • Utility Bills (showing name & address)
The known Amazon Payments associated fax numbers are:
1-800-887-0540
1-866-216-1070
1-206-765-3424

There are a number of online services to make sending a fax free and convenient.

Securing Your Account

Your E-Mail
While all of your worker data is anonymized on mTurk there is a flaw in the current system: if you contact a requester through mTurk your account e-mail will be divulged to that requester. Some users may not consider this an issue, but if you prefer to keep your personal e-mail confidential now is the time to change your e-mail address on mTurk. Creating an mTurk specific e-mail account (GMail is widely used) can help keep mTurk related correspondence organized.
WorkerID & Amazon Product Reviews
Another flaw in the mTurk system is the inability to unlink your Worker ID from the rest of your Amazon account. If you purchase and review products on Amazon.com you'll probably want to "hide" your Amazon profile to keep requesters or others who will receive your worker ID from being able to tie it to your Amazon profile (and potentially real life identity).

Click here to head to your Amazon.com Public Profile and click on the "Edit Profile" button.

Amazon.com Account Privacy Settings Screen


From the "Edit Profile" page you should click on "Edit Privacy Settings" (1 in image) and then look for the "Hide all activity on your profile" button (2 in image). You can also edit out any of the info on your profile to remove your name and other data. Once completed click the "View your profile as a visitor" (3 in image) to check that you're satisfied with your new settings.
Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
To Enable 2FA on Your Amazon Account[1]:
  1. Login to Amazon.com with the same credentials as your MTurk account.
  2. In the upper right bar, click "Your Account".
  3. In the "Settings" box, under the "Account Settings" heading, click "Login & Security Settings".
  4. Click under "Advanced Security Settings".
  5. You have two options (you can enable both for extra security):
    1. A. Use an authenticator app (such as AWS Virtual MFA, Google Authenticator, or Microsoft Authenticator) - Available in your smartphone's app store.
    2. Be sent an SMS/text message with a security code sent to you.
  6. Amazon does a pretty good job walking you through how to do each step. What will happen after activating these features is that every time you login to your Amazon/MTurk/Payments account, you will be prompted to input a code you receive from either the app or a text message.
  7. If you don't always have your phone on you or you get tired of entering codes, you can click the check box next to "Don’t ask for codes on this device".
Password Encryption / Management

Probation

All new mTurk accounts are given a probationary period during which they can only accept (returns are counted against this limit) 100 HITs for a certain number of days. This limit resets every night at 3AM EST, 12AM PST. This is a good time to become acquainted with the platform and learn since not as much time can be spent actually completing work.

The 10 days are counted by successfully completing at least 1 HIT during a day, so if you complete 1 HIT for 10 consecutive days probation will end on the 11th day.

However, completing at least 1 HIT on 5 consecutive days and then taking a week off will not end account probation. The account will have 5 remaining probation days left.

Once the probationary period is over the maximum number of HITs a worker may accept (submitted & returned) is 3,800 - once again resetting at 3AM EST, 12AM PST.
10 Day vs 30 Day Probation
The majority of workers are given a 10 day probation, however there have been reports (mostly involving foreign workers) of a 30 day probation existing.

Already Registered / Further Reading

Once you've registered (or if you're already registered) you can start learning the Worker Basics area of the mTurk Wiki to become more familiar with the platform.

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