The Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) recently announced Version 3 of the Model Participation Rules. This latest version applies to all electronic transactions, covers all jurisdictions and applies to paper dealings in NSW, VIC, QLD, WA and SA. This new version is expected to be in effect from the second week of November 2015.
Industry groups are welcoming this release as a milestone towards harmonising and digitising land dealings and transactions across Australia.
The main focus of ARNECC has currently been on emphasising and ensuring the importance of the ‘safe harbour’ verification of identity (VOI) Standard. Lenders, lawyers and conveyancers are provided with assured statutory protection against identity fraud risk, as a result of the face-to-face documentary Standard.
Failure to correctly follow the Standard will result in the onus being on the lender, lawyer or conveyancer to establish that some other method that constitutes the taking of ‘reasonable steps’ was used in identifying the appropriate person.
There are five new features of the safe harbour VOI Standard in the Model Participation Rules:
- VOI does not have to occur simultaneously to signing or witnessing of Registry instruments/other documents;
- Where the aggregate insurance limit is under $20M, safe harbour VOI can be performed by identity agents;
- Licensed mortgage brokers can perform safe harbour VOI under their existing insurance policy limits;
- Passports expired within the past two years will be acceptable; and
- Foreign passports without visa evidence will also be acceptable.
In order to promote the national goals of efficiency and consistency through electronic conveyancing, the attention of the industry has now turned to the implementation of this VOI Standard in the above States. It is anticipated that this will include alignment of paper based rules to the Model Participation Rules.
Click here to access the Model Participation Rules.