If you’ve been to see a solicitor recently about a conveyancing matter they may have asked for a photocopy of your ID, including passport, licence, birth certificate and other documents. There is a very important reason for this.

NSW has recently brought in legislative amendments to facilitate electronic conveyancing  (“e-conveyancing”). This system, which allows documents to be lodged online, is expected to make conveyancing much more fast, efficient and cost-effective. One of the downfalls of                e-conveyancing, however, is that reducing the face-to-face interaction between parties increases the possibility of fraud and identity-theft.

In order to counteract the possibility of someone using a false identity to enter a conveyancing agreement, part of the new law is a legal requirement of legal practitioners to verify their client’s identity before acting for them in a conveyancing matter. The law sets specific standards which must be met when positively identifying a client, including what identification documents can be accepted. The forms of identity which can be accepted are similar to those used by RMS when you go for a driver’s licence. For example you can produce a current passport and drivers licence. Alternatively, you can produce a passport, full birth certificate and medicare card. If you do not have a passport then a driver’s licence, full birth certificate and medicare card is sufficient. In any of these cases, a change of name or marriage certificate must be produced if relevant.

At Hansons, the security of your identity is crucial. If you have any questions about the requirements of verifying identity in NSW, feel free to contact our friendly staff.