Verification of Identity - a legal requirement

Verification of Identity - a legal requirement 

If you have been involved in a conveyancing transaction in NSW in recent times, you have probably been asked by your lawyer to provide identification documents to verify your identity.  

In a small town where ‘everyone knows everyone’ this can often seem somewhat unnecessary, so what is it all about?

The New Rules

The NSW Land Registry Services introduced new conveyancing rules under section 12E of the Real Property Act which are now in full effect. 

These conveyancing rules require lawyers to verify the identity of our clients before proceeding to act on their behalf, and to check that our clients have authority to deal with the land they are transacting on.

These conveyancing rules apply to all conveyancing transactions including but not limited to:

  • transfer of land
  • contracts for sale;
  • mortgages;   
  • lease agreements;
  • easements; 
  • registering, noting or recording a transaction on the titles register;
  • changing or removing a transaction from the titles register;
  • the delivery of certificates of title to clients and mortgagors.

How do we verify your identity?

A legal representative from our firm will apply the Verification of Identity Standard which simply means that during a face-to-face meeting with you, you will need to produce at least two original and acceptable identification documents.

If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, a legal representative from our firm is required to verify the identity of a person in some other way that constitutes the taking of reasonable steps.

In the case of a company, the Verification of Identity Standard requires a legal representative from our firm to confirm the identity of the body corporate by conducting a search of ASIC's records and to take reasonable steps to establish who is the authorised person to sign or witness on behalf of the company.

If documents are to be executed on behalf of our client by a nominated attorney, our legal representative must take reasonable steps to establish that the conveyancing transaction is authorised by a Power of Attorney and to verify the identity of the attorney.

NSW Land Registry Service/Office of State Revenue - Storing of Identity Records

As your legal firm we are required to keep a copy of the verification of identity documents for seven years as a document supporting the transaction and the dealing.  You can be assured that this information will be retained securely in our office.

Once your identity has been verified by our firm, it does not need to be re-verified for two years. 

Gordon Garling Moffit Lawyers