Paper Coneyancing

South Australia has released the latest version of Registrar-General's Verification of Identity Requirements dated 27 April 2015.

This policy purports to bind mortgagees and solicitors, conveyancers and their agents, although there are no attached sanctions and no express legislative underpinnings. The policy was issued under counsel's advice that the power existed under s220 and 267 of the Real Property Act. However under the policy certifications must be lodged with paper dealings specifying that verifications has been done.

The standard prescribes the identity documents required in a cascading fashion. The Gold Standard being the possession of a passport and drivers licence (plus in the case of a foreign passport, a visa). Thus obviating the need for anything else to be produced. Thereafter as less probative documents are produced more of them are required. Those presenting with a dearth of documentation are required to be accompanied to the face-to-face interview by an “Identity Declarant” who themselves must be indentified in accordance with the standard and in certain circumstances must be a member of specified professions. For paper dealings, the person performing the identification must make a statement as to the verifications performed in the form of a certification on the relevant instrument prior to it being lodged in the Lands Titles Office.

E-Conveyancing

Under section 23 of the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (SA), the Registrar-General determined and published the SA Participation Rules – Version 3 dated 21 January 2016.

The Verification of Identity Standard in the Participation Rules prescribes:

  1. A face-to-face in-person interview.
  2. The mortgagor must bear a “reasonable likeness” to the person depicted in photographs in the identification documents.
  3. The identification documents must be originals and be produced by the mortgagor.

The standard then prescribes the identity documents required in a cascading fashion. The Gold Standard for Australian citizens or residents being the possession of an Australian or foreign passport and Australian drivers licence. Thus obviating the need for anything else to be produced. Thereafter as less probative documents are produced more of them are required. In the absence of either a passport or an Australian drivers licence (but not both), a birth certificate plus Medicare/Centrelink/Veterans’ card can be produced or if not available and in conjunction with a passport only, another government issued identity document with a photograph provided that if the government issued identity document does not contain a photograph, a birth certificate still must be produced. Those presenting with a dearth of documentation are required to be accompanied to the face-to-face interview by an “Identity Declarant” who themselves must be indentified in accordance with the standard and in certain circumstances must be a member of specified professions. Foreign nationals must be identified using their foreign passport and some form of government issued identity document with a photograph and if the government issued identity document does not contain a photograph, a birth certificate must also be produced.

The standard requires that the person identifying the mortgagor provide a certification in a prescribed form. It is also necessary for the lender to obtain a completed client authorisation form from the mortgagor. Any lenders requiring assistance in preparing their template documents for E-Conveyancing should contact Matthew Bransgrove.

Further steps are required where a mortgagee ought reasonably know that any identity document is not genuine, any photo on an identity document is not a reasonable likeness or the person being identified does not appear to be the person to which the identity document relates or it would otherwise be reasonable to take further steps. Evidence supporting verification of identity must be kept by a mortgagee for 7 years after the mortgage is registered.

The rules adopted in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia as part of the implementation of a national e-conveyancing system are near identical being based on the ARNECC model participation rules.