07 Jun 2017

CU LAB: Verification of identity - what actually verifies my identity?

Carrie Rogers answers a common question: "What do I need to show a law firm to verify my identity?"

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.


To enable a law firm to be able to verify your identity you need to think of it like a 100 point system that you would use when you open up a new bank account.

There are various different forms of identification but I think if you bring along your passport (either foreign or Australian) together with a driver's licence or other form of photo card then that's what the law firms will need.

However if you have changed your name through marriage or otherwise you need to also bring along a change of name certificate or a marriage certificate and that will be what the law firm needs to verify your identity.

In respect of what each law firm needs we are going through a transition phase, so each law firm, we're finding, is asking for slightly different things.

For example here at Clayton Utz we are using ZipID as an agent. Alternatively, our staff are also trained up to be able to do the verification of identity. It does involve us taking copies of the original forms of ID together with your photo and a sample signature. They are then secured in a database here in the system.

Generally our real estate and banking and financial lawyers are the ones that will do this, however we can also use Australia Post for those more remote and regional areas.

I think it's important to note also with verification of identity that, once the firm does it, it lasts for two years, so you don't need to keep bringing back those materials time and time again for each new deal you strike up.