From 9 November 2015, all dealings with Victoria’s Land Registry will require parties to satisfy strict verification of identity requirements (generally referred to as “VOI”). In addition, these VOI requirements also apply to persons who are given custody of a certificate of title.
The new requirements aim to reduce fraud by placing an obligation on conveyancing professionals to take reasonable steps to verify that a person signing a document is who they say they are and that they have the right to transact with the land.
Standards have been established which are deemed to satisfy the VOI requirements. In brief, the rules require each individual, director or attorney to attend a face-to-face meeting with the conveyancing professional with the prescribed identification documents. It is expected that the majority of people can produce a passport and driver’s licence. If these documents are not available then additional documents may be acceptable.
This identification process can be undertaken by a conveyancing professional or certain authorised identity agents. Australia Post is an example of an authorised identity agent. Once VOI has been established it is valid for 2 years.
An additional requirement is that the conveyancing professional must take reasonable steps to verify that its client has the right to enter into the transaction. There are no deeming provisions to satisfy this requirement, but they will have to undertake sufficient enquiries to verify the link between the land and the transacting party, and the representative capacity of the party. This may include examining company searches.
Where possible, Sladen Legal will undertake the identification process in-house. If our clients are unable to attend our offices then it will be necessary to make use of an external identity agent.
If you have any queries or require more detailed advice on the requirements for identification, please contact: