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What is a verification of identity report?

Verification of identity is a legislatively required process that all conveyancing lawyers must require their clients to complete to confirm their identity as a part of the electronic conveyancing process. Conveyancing lawyers are required to then hold on their records the relevant report created for up to seven years after the transaction is complete. The intention behind the report is to try and minimize instances of cyber fraud and identity theft when attempting to transact real property. Only certain approved identity agents can produce the report and all of these agents will need to have appropriate indemnity insurance to be an identity agent.

The most common identity agents that are used are the Australia Post, ZIP ID and Global X. There is a charge per report, but it is paid directly by the client to these identity agencies when they order the report. For security and authenticity purposes, these reports are then sent directly by the identity agents to the conveyancing lawyer, without passing through the hands of the parties. It is then for the conveyancing lawyers to determine whether the report is sufficient to satisfy the verification of identity standard set by legislation. That is, just because you have completed a report doesn’t mean that it is sufficient to be relied on. Hence, to make sure that your report is acceptable, you should consider what identity documents you have and select the most reliable ones per the standard. 

If you do not have sufficient identity documents on hand, then you should consider collecting any documents you need before you begin to transact in real property. Commonly, a drivers licence and passport, or a licence, medicare card and passport in the same name would be sufficient for a verification of identity. If your documents are not in the same name, then you should get them updated to reflect your correct name or obtain certificates that show a change in your name (eg. Marriage certificates or change of name certificates).

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