A row of bright, Victorian houses illustrating the Conveyancing Process – What ID does your solicitor need?
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What ID does your solicitor need?

(Last Updated: 29/02/2024)
5 min read
One of the first stages in the conveyancing process after instructing your solicitor is to provide them with your ID; both photo and proof of address. Historically, these documents were required in the original format, but solicitors can now use email scans or even mobile app technology to confirm who their client is - commonly known as Know Your Client (KYC).

  • 1

    Why is the ID verification so important to the conveyancing process?

The law requires solicitors as well as banks, building societies and mortgage brokers, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients to meet with Money Laundering Regulations.

The risk of fraud is high when buying a home as large sums of money are transferred between third parties who have never met. The key concern for the solicitor is to know who their client is and where their money has come from. You can read more about - How to prove the source of your funds.

With over £3 billion in mortgage fraud in 2017, the challenge is clear. Especially when the individual solicitor firm is liable for getting their ID wrong in the event of a fraud claim. This is why each solicitor firm has its own ID procedure – and some are more risk averse than others!

Who Regulates Solicitors regarding KYC and Anti-Money Laundering?

This is done by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Click to view the SRA's guidance to solicitor members on Anti-Money Laundering/KYC

  • 2

    What ID does your solicitor need for the conveyancing process?


Photo ID

  • New driving licence with photo (not the paper version)
  • Current passport (not an out of date one)

If you use the online verification process, then a fee is normally charged for doing this. Our fee is £15 INC VAT. However, when thinking about the cost to send your original passport special delivery, or the chance for these being lost, most clients are using the online verification process to simplify the process.

Proof of Home Address

Your solicitor will need to see 2 separate pieces of evidence to prove you reside at the address you are living at. This is normally your main residence where you are registered on the electoral roll. The most common pieces of evidence to prove your home address are:
  • New driving licence with photo or the paper version (if you use the photo driving licence for your photo ID then you can't use it for your proof of address and will need to provide 2 other forms)
  • Gas, water, electricity bill (no older than within the last 12 months)
  • Bank statement including your home address (online download is suitable)
  • HMRC letter
  • 3

    How do solicitors do an online ID check?

This is the more forward-thinking ID checking service where solicitors obtain photocopy evidence of your ID and then check this via an online database. You'll need to provide your passport number, national insurance number, your full name and your current home address - remember you current home address is where you are registered on the electoral roll.

The online ID check reviews your name linked to the address you live at. If this passes, then your solicitor should be satisfied. However, if it fails, you should expect to provide original documents or visit your solicitor at their office. You are likely to fail if:
  • You haven’t lived in your current address for longer than a year
  • You aren’t on the electoral role
  • You don’t pay UK tax
  • You live overseas
The online ID check normally has a charge – our solicitors charge £8 Inc VAT per name checked however with other solicitors this can vary so remember to ask at the point you get your quote.

WorldWhen can you not use an online ID check?
You cannot use the online ID checking service if you are not a resident of England & Wales. If you live outside England & Wales, then you'll need to either provide original evidence of your photo ID or you can get the original documents copied and certified by a solicitor or local notary.

Do you need an ID verification for a property transaction?

Our panel solicitors can verify your identity online, providing an ID1 and ID5 certificate for just £99 INC VAT. Meetings available from 31/05/2024*.

  • 4

    When is a face to face meeting required?

This is the ‘old school’ verification process and the one that offers the most amount of reassurance to the solicitor. If they meet you in person then your solicitor can check your ID there and then. For most this is unachievable as the distance to drive to get to their solicitors makes it too hard. If you are instructing a solicitors' firm that isn’t near you, which is common practice nowadays, make sure they provide an ID checking service that doesn’t force you to visit your solicitors’ office.

Getting your ID verified at the earliest point is a requirement of the conveyancing process as your solicitor can’t start acting for you until they know who you are. Our advice is to get your ID ready and make sure you ask the question upfront about which ID procedure is acceptable. We provide the simplest process for ID checking through the online ID check to support our clients and save them time.

If you need help with your ID or have a question then email us at help@samconveyancing.co.uk.

Need a great value quote for the conveyancing process?

Our specialist conveyancing solicitors check your ID by inspecting your scanned required documents sent via email – which is the most efficient, speedy and money-saving way possible – there's never any need to take time off work to attend your solicitor's offices.

*Subject to availability. If we are fully booked ask and we will see if we can fit you in sooner.

Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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