Verification of Identification: Who Are You?

The Land Services Group has advised that four major reforms will be introduced over the next 15 months as South Australia moves towards National Electronic Conveyancing (NEC).

From 28 April 2014, parties must have their identity verified for certain transaction documents lodged with the Lands Titles Office.

Our clients need to be aware that from this date one of our lawyers must verify their identity when executing the following documents in the required capacity:

Conveyancing Transaction:

Person to be Identified:

Transfers. Transferor and the Transferee.
Mortgages. The Mortgagor.
Application to Register Death. The Survivor.
Application for a Substitute Certificate of Title/Crown Lease. The Applicant (unless the Applicant is a mortgagee) and the Registered Proprietor (if the Registered Proprietor has legal capacity).
Request to retain the old manual title made by a person not a party to any of the transactions listed above. The Registered Proprietor.

Unfortunately just being one of our mates (of which there are many) is not sufficient.  One of our lawyers must meet face-to-face with the client, sight their identity documents and keep copies of those documents on file for seven years.  This includes directors who sign on behalf of a company.

The rules specify acceptable identity documents similar to the banking 100 point check.  If possible, a client’s Australian passport and driver’s licence will be required.

For interstate and overseas clients there is a mechanism for us to engage an agent to conduct the verification process on our behalf outside of South Australia.

These new rules will undoubtedly lead to an increase in conveyancing costs initially, however it remains to be seen whether this cost will be offset by greater conveyancing efficiencies when the NEC is implemented.

Please contact our property law specialist James Frearson-Lea with any queries regarding the verification of identity rules.