Land Registry update on verification of identity during COVID-19

20th May 2020

The Land Registry have announced that with effect from 4 May 2020, verifying a person’s identity will become easier during the COVID-19 restrictions and the challenges we face in order to comply with the social distancing guidelines.

The Land Registry have confirmed that they have widened the categories of professionals who are now able to verify identity and in addition to conveyancers, solicitors and chartered legal executives these now include (on a temporary basis) certain other professions such as dentists, police officers and teachers (please see the Government practice guide for the full list of accepted professions for verification of identity). The person verifying the identity must not be related in any way to the person whose identity is being verified.

Verification of identity can also be carried out via video calls subject to certain conditions, such as the person whose identity is to be verified and the verifier having known each other for at least one year and they must also provide a copy of the personal details page of their passport. For the full list of conditions, see the guide.

Where a conveyancer verifies a person’s identity by way of a video call for the purpose of completing a Land Registry Form ID1 or ID2, they must also complete the new form ID5. A screenshot must be taken during the video call showing the faces of both people. This is for evidence of the call. The conveyancer must also take and retain a screenshot of the person whose identity they are verifying.

For up to date guidance on verifying identity and more details on the professionals able to verify from the Land Registry please view practice guide 67A: temporary changes to HM Land Registry’s evidence of identity requirements.

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