What is a VOI?
1 November 2023
In February this year, the Queensland Government passed legislation to mandate electronic settlements in Queensland for most conveyancing transactions.
To protect you and your assets when using this online communications and settlement technology, Verification of Identity (VOI) is a mandatory part of our practice and a legislative requirement.
A VOI interview is the process of verifying the identity of an individual to ensure that they are who they say they are. This may be in relation to identifying someone as an individual – or in the case of a company – to ensure that person is an appropriate office holder or authorised representative.
Why is it required?
As part of our compliance with the legislative framework, lawyers and other qualified witnesses have always had an obligation to take steps to verify the identity of the person signing a document. The framework provides some best practice standards for this known as the VOI Standard. Lawyers who subscribe to the electronic settlement platform PEXA must also comply with the Model Participation Rules.
If the particular transaction requires a VOI, then the lawyer or qualified witness must take reasonable steps to verify:
- The identity of the individual; and
- The right of the individual to deal with the property and sign the document.
VOI documents and Process
Like the 100 point system, various categories of documents may be used to prove your identity, such as:
- An Australian or foreign passport;
- Drivers licence or photo card;
- Birth or citizenship certificate;
- Medicare card;
- Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs card.
A face-to-face meeting is required where original documents must be sighted and the lawyer or qualified witness must be satisfied that you are of a reasonable likeness to the individual depicted in the photograph.
In certain circumstances, a lawyer may engage an agent to complete the VOI. If these circumstances apply, there are easy to use, digital VOI applications available which a lawyer may determine satisfies their requirement to take reasonable steps to complete the VOI.
The completed VOI can be utilised for a period of two years once completed.