New milestone towards complete digital conveyancing unveiled

Paul Gibbon Paul Gibbon 16 March 2021

HM Land Registry has unveiled its latest standard for enabling reliable identity checks to be made digitally for the purposes of property transactions and the land registration process.

The procedures, called the Digital Identity Standard, will identify conveyancing clients remotely allowing companies to prove an individuals’ identity securely enough for property transactions.

Paul Gibbon, director in the commercial property team at Wake Smith Solicitors, looks at the adoption and advantages of the biometric system.

“The practical guidance comes as part of HM Land Registry’s long-running programme to enable fully digital conveyancing.

“It will not be mandatory, but is likely to form part of the government-wide digital identity scheme being coordinated by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

“Among the improvements to the previous proposals is a process for digitally verifying identities in property transactions involving companies.

“The development of easy-to-use, modestly-priced, remote and digitally secure options for conveyancers to use with clients will help streamline the conveyancing process, making it faster, safer and more convenient for both parties.

“Ensuring you know exactly who you are dealing with, in an increasingly digital world, is vitally important to the trust and confidence in the registration of land, and the conveyancing process more generally.”

Features of the proposed biometric system include:

  • An individual can prove their identity through a mobile phone app which analyses facial features and compares them to those on their passport microchip.
  • The process cannot be tricked by fake images unlike current systems, and will also manage changes such as hairstyle and eyewear.

Paul added: “It is likely to take some time before system is up and running and widely used because commercial products for solicitors and conveyancers to use, based on the standard will need to be developed and brought to market, which could take months.

“But what it does do is move a step forward to creating a national trust framework of digital identities suitable for different purposes.”

For further information on commercial and residential conveyancing matters contact Wake Smith Solicitors on 0114 266 6660.

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