In 2015, Victoria introduced the requirement for parties involved in property transactions, including corporations, to have their identities verified by approved verifiers. The majority of property transactions are now being completed electronically via the online platform PEXA. PEXA allows for a variety of transactions to be completed, including, but not limited to:
- property transfers,
- lodging caveats,
- discharging mortgages, and
- the registration of applications by surviving proprietors or legal representatives.
There are various steps, however, that are required to be completed by your lawyer prior to completing your transaction electronically.
1. Your identity must be formally verified
Verification of Identity, or VOI for short, is a process that ensures that a person is who they claim to be. VOI is a legal requirement that helps to reduce the risk of fraud and ensures people feel confident in the documents they are signing. The process involves a face-to-face interview and the perusal of original identity documents
Any person who is a party to an electronic transaction must have their identity formally verified prior to a lawyer signing off on the transaction. This ensures that the transaction is compliant with the electronic conveyancing framework. If the party to the transaction is a company or corporate trustee of a trust, then two directors or the sole director/secretary of that entity must have their identities formally verified.
Where can I get a VOI done?
The three most common options are:
- Attending the office of your lawyer or conveyancer, or
- Attending a registered Australia Post office (there are around 1,450 outlets across Australia), or
- A private identity agent or company (such as ZipID or IDSecure) can come to your home or office.
Each party to a transaction will require 100 points of identification to complete the process. Once you have completed your VOI, it will be valid for 2 years from the date of the identification. However, if you change lawyers during this time, they may request an updated verification occur prior to completing your transaction electronically.
What documents do I need to bring to complete a VOI?
The documents required to be supplied are provided in six categories. If you are unable to provide all the documents in the first category, then you will need to move onto the second category and so forth:
- For Australian citizens or residence, original documents to be supplied within category 1 include either (1) an Australian or Foreign Passport, (2) an Australian driver’s license or proof of age card that has been issued by your State or Territory; and (3) a change of name or marriage certificate if necessary.
- For Australian citizens, original documents to be supplied within category 2 include (1) an Australian or foreign passport; (2) a full birth certificate, citizenship certificate or descent certificate; (3) a Medicare or Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs card; and (4) a change of name or marriage certificate if necessary
There are also further categories and categories that specifically apply if you are outside of Australia or not an Australian resident. See further information for what documents are available for use here.
2. Completing a client authorisation form
In addition to VOI, each party to an electronic transaction must sign a valid client authorisation form prior to the matter being signed off electronically. This form will specify that you authorise your lawyer or conveyancer to complete on the transaction on your behalf via PEXA.
It should be noted that there is a section of the client authorisation form where you are able to provide your lawyer with a standing authority. Standing authority is the ongoing authority to sign off on electronic transactions on your behalf. You should note that, if this is not specified, you will need to complete a new client authorisation form for each transaction.
Once you have completed your verification of identity and client authorisation form, your lawyer will be permitted to complete your electronic transaction in a compliant manner under the ARNECC Rules.
How can Sharrock Pitman Legal assist?
At Sharrock Pitman Legal, these processes naturally form part of any property matter that we complete on your behalf. If you have any further queries or require assistance with a property transaction, please contact our Property Law team on 1300 205 506 or alternatively fill in the contact form below.
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.
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For further information contact
Benjamin is a Legal Practitioner at Sharrock Pitman Legal.
He deals with Property law. For further information, contact Benjamin Drinkwater on his direct line (03) 8561 3328.