February 8, 2023

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Who can and can’t verify your ID?

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If you’ve been asked to prove your identity by an official body, there are various professionals who can provide this verification. You can familiarise yourself with these occupations on government websites and do leave plenty of time to complete the forms if there is a time limit. You may have friends who are in the profession, and you are free to ask them to sign your paperwork, but it must not be a family member.

When will I have to have my identity verified?

If you are seeking to apply for a passport, you will require a signature. Likewise, that professional will have to sign accompanying photographs. If you want to obtain a driving licence, you will also need a signature. Banks and mortgage lenders have a responsibility to ensure your identity is verified when you are opening an account or seeking a mortgage. This is to protect against money laundering. Lenders will not be able to proceed with the opening of an account or the mortgage application unless your name and address are verified.

What occupations can sign my paperwork?

The number of occupations is wide-ranging, from recognised professionals to people who are noted and of a high rank in the community, such as local councillors. Your bank or building society official may be willing to sign your paperwork, as will a minister of religion. A dentist or chartered accountant is also permitted to sign, alongside a solicitor, barrister, or teacher. Various bodies will allow different professionals to sign and verify your identity. Journalists, legal secretaries, local government officers, opticians, police officers or fire officials, or members of the armed services can often confirm your identity. If in doubt, ask the body to whom the application is being made.

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Who is not eligible to sign documents verifying my identity?

The person you ask for a signature should not be a family member, related by birth or marriage, and they should not live at the same address. You can only verify someone’s identity if you are aged 18 or over, you live in the UK and have an up-to-date UK passport. You must have known that person for a minimum of two years and be familiar with the applicant as a friend or work colleague. If you work for HM Passport Office, you will not be permitted to sign the documentation.

Will my solicitor need proof of my identity?

If your solicitor is handling legal paperwork, they will require identification. You can prove your identity by providing bank statements, together with a relevant passport or driving licence. If you require legal advice, Ascot solicitors and firms elsewhere offer a full range of legal services. From Aberdeen to Ascot solicitors are ideally placed to provide a friendly, professional and reliable service.

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According to Today’s Conveyancer the issue of identity verification and protection against money laundering is a priority, especially as we progress into the digital age.

The importance of verifying identities to combat money laundering

The amount of money laundered through the UK every year is estimated at over £50 billion. Prior to a conveyancing transaction, two types of ID are generally requested by the conveyancing professional or solicitor. They must satisfy themselves that you are not a criminal seeking to use the transaction for criminal purposes.

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