Verification of Identity for Land Dealings in New South Wales
The NSW Land and Property Information (LPI) has introduced conveyancing rules under section 12E of the Real Property Act. These Conveyancing Rules relate to the requirements for lawyers and conveyancers to verify the identity of their clients.
The purpose of carrying out a verification of identity for land transactions is to:
- ensure a person is who they claim to be;
- prevent the registration of fraudulent land transactions;
- reduce the risk of identity fraud
The Conveyancing Rules apply to:
- all conveyancing transactions which are transactions involving one or more parties and the purpose of which is: to create, transfer, dispose of, mortgage, charge, lease or deal with in any other way an estate or interest in land, or
- getting a document registered, noted or recorded in the titles register, or
- getting the registration, note or record of something in the titles register changed, withdrawn or removed; and
- the delivery of certificates of title to clients and mortgagors.
Original identity documents and visual (“face to face”) verification of identity are to be produced when being identified. A “face to face” in person interview must be undertaken by the lawyer or conveyancer acting and the person being identified.
As an indication, you will generally need:
- an Australian passport or a foreign passport;
- plus an Australian driver’s licence or Photo Card;
- plus a change of name or marriage certificate (if necessary).
If any of the above original documents cannot be produced alternate categories of documents can be sought.
What if a client resides overseas?
Where a client resides overseas steps will need to be taken by the lawyer or conveyancer acting, to verify the client’s identity having regard to the available services and options under the circumstances. One available option is to utilize the services of the Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate coupled with any necessary further steps in order for the lawyer or conveyancer acting to be reasonably confident in the person’s identity. An international financial institution or law practice would also be able to use overseas personnel to conduct verification of identity.
What if a client is unable to come into the office for the identity to be verified?
Australia Post offers a Verification of Identity service where you attend a participating Post Office and are interviewed by an Australia Post Identity Verifier. You must check what Post Offices near you conduct the service you require. The Verification of Identity report is then delivered to us.
Koffels Solicitors are highly experienced in Real Property transactions, and for overseas clients we have a broad network of associated offices to assist in complying with identification regulations.