New conveyancing requirements to encourage digital ID checks



HM Land Registry has unveiled a new set of requirements to encourage digital identity checks in the conveyancing process.

Land Registry said it wants to support the development of easy to use, modestly priced, remote and digitally secure options for conveyancers to use with their clients. Deputy chief executive Mike Harlow said the proposed Safe Harbour Standard, published yesterday, would provide clarity to the market and ‘best steer’ investment.

To reach ‘safe harbour’, the client must hold a form of evidence that can be checked by interrogating cryptographic security features within the evidence. Conveyancers must check that the evidence is genuine. The conveyancer must make sure the biometric information captured from a ‘liveness check’ matches biometric information in the chip within the evidence.

Conveyancers representing a transferor, borrower or lessor must connect the client to the property by obtaining two examples from a set list of evidence, and check that the name and address matches the identity.

The standard is not compulsory and other means of identifying parties to a transaction can be used. However, Land Registry says it will not seek recourse for negligence if a conveyancer carries out all the requirements under the standard.

Harlow said: ‘While techniques such as facial recognition against a passport are being used in several walks of life, they are not available to conveyancers as yet. We want to do what we can to support the sector to see the development of easy-to-use, modestly-priced, remote and digitally secure options for conveyancers to use with their clients.’

Conveyancers must submit their views on the Safe Harbour Standard by 11 December.

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