The Registrar of Titles announced new guidelines for verification of identity (VOI) on the 30th September, 2015. The guidelines set out in the announcement came into force on the 9th November, 2015, and it is now mandatory to meet the VOI requirements for all paper-based conveyancing in Victoria.
Key dates for the new verification of identity requirements
9 November 2015
The following requirements came into force:
- Verification of identity requirements;
- Requirement to establish authority of a party to deal
- Evidence retention requirements.
1 December 2015
A requirement to verify the identity of non-represented parties was introduced.
1 August 2016
From this date, discharges of mortgage and new mortgages must be lodged electronically.
3 April 2017
The use of client authorisations and certifications is proposed to be introduced.
All transactions signed by parties on or after 9 November 2015 will be subject to the new VOI requirements.
Authority of a party to deal
The Registrar’s guidelines (Guideline 3.2) now require:
“3.2.2 For each conveyancing transaction a representative must take reasonable steps to verify that its client is a legal person and has the right to enter into the conveyancing transaction.
3.3.3 A mortgagee, or representative of a mortgagee, must, for each mortgage, variation of mortgage or transfer of mortgage, take reasonable steps to verify that the mortgagor is a legal person and has the right to enter into the mortgage.”
VOI of non-represented parties
Unique to paper-based transactions in Victoria, this requirement means individuals acting on their own behalf will be unable to access the e-conveyancing system directly.
An individual or individuals acting on their own behalf are now required to visit an “authorised identity agent”. Documents signed by the parties will not be accepted until an identity agent issues a valid VOI. Furthermore, all individuals acting on their own behalf must sign the transaction document in the presence of the identity agent.
All conveyancing procedures in Victoria will be subject to the application of the new procedures and policies for verification of identity. If you are acting on your own behalf, make sure you have the correct paperwork and visit a reputable identity agent to save you time and money.
If you are considering purchasing land elsewhere in Australia, it is important to check the verification of identification policies and procedures for that state, as they may vary from the Victorian model.