Verification of Identity and Authority

Published On: 28 October 2021

The Registrar General’s Verification of Identity Policy has been in operation since 2014. This has resulted in significant changes in the way certain Land Titles Office documents are executed. It was a pre-curser to Electronic Conveyancing, which is now mandatory.

The Policy requires that parties who execute certain categories of Real Estate documentation must have their identity verified. The Policy applies to individual parties and to executions on behalf of Corporate Bodies and by Attorneys.

The purpose of carrying out verification of identity (VOI) is to minimise the risk of identity fraud and the registration of fraudulent land transactions.

VOI of clients is considered to be part of the due diligence required of conveyancing professionals.

Verification of Identity

The client attends a ‘face to face’ interview with a Conveyancer, or their Agent, and produces the required current documentation to support the verification process. The Conveyancer provides certification on the executed documentation confirming that the Identity Verification has been undertaken.

Supporting identification documentation includes

  • Passports
  • Proof of Age Cards
  • Change of Name / Marriage Certificates
  • Birth Certificates
  • Medicare / DVA Cards
  • Drivers Licences

The Conveyancer will photocopy the supporting documentation and keep it on file for a minimum period of 7 years from the date of execution. Your photo may also be taken as further evidence.

It is important that there must be a link between all documentation supplied. If a birth certificate is provided with a driver’s licence that shows a different surname, a linking document must be produced that evidences the change of name.

Not every client is able to attend a Conveyancer’s Office for identity verification, in these circumstances the client is required to undertake the ‘face to face’ interview with an Agent like Australia Post. During the COVID-19 pandemic a Conveyancer may elect to use video technology to affect a face-to-face interview and use a Virtual VOI service.

Verification of the Right to Deal (Verification of Authority)

Involves establishing the link between the property and the transacting party.

Vendors may produce

  • land tax assessments
  • rates notices
  • utilities notices
  • mortgage repayment statements

The type of documents used to verify a person’s authority will differ depending on the conveyancing transaction.

At the Verification interview with the Conveyancer, where the client is signing the Client Authorisation on behalf of a transacting party, the capacity to do so must be established. For example, the client must produce the original power of attorney, trust deed, court order, Probate, etc. The Conveyancer must retain a copy of the documentation as evidence supporting the transaction.

It is important to remember not to pack any of the above documents required for verification of identity or authority until after you have completed this process.

Strathalbyn Conveyancing welcome any questions about the Verification of Identity and Authority process.