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Identification – Nosey or Necessary?

Published on 1 November 2017 | Modified on 15 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett

 In every property transaction, your solicitor will request identification documents from you and some third parties involved in the matter.  On occasion, this can lead to solicitors being criticised for being “nosey”. However, as mortgage and property fraud is becoming more frequent it is imperative for solicitors to be vigilant.

Why is my Identification needed?

Although it may seem like a chore, we cannot complete your sale or purchase until we have fully checked all ID.  So we ask that clients provide the documents to us as soon as possible.

Fraudsters often impersonate someone else in order to sell or buy a property.  So, in every case, we need to check whether the client really is who they say they are and ensure that we do not inadvertently facilitate any fraudulent activity.

What Identification Documents do I need to provide?

Every client, occupier or contributor, will be asked to provide identification.

For individuals, a current passport and photo card driving licence is usually sufficient.  However, where these are not available, recent utility bills and bank statements can be used as proof of address.

If we aren’t able to meet you in person, we may also carry out online ID checks which will analyse your name and the linked address that you live at, and verifies who you are.

I am having a gift of money from my parents, do they need to provide ID?

If you are having a gift or loan of money from a third party, we will ask for identification from them. We will also need to see how they have accumulated the money which they are contributing.  After all, this money is forming part of your deposit.

My adult children live with me.  Does they need to provide ID?

Anyone who lives at a property being sold, and who is over the age of 17 must also provide identification. They will also be asked to sign the Contract. If you are buying a property with a mortgage and another adult will be living with you they will be given the opportunity to take their own legal advice.  They will also need to provide ID.

I am purchasing in my Company’s name – how do I provide ID?

We can obtain company documents directly from Companies House.  But will still need to carry out the usual personal checks on the directors and any significant shareholders.

If you are buying and selling and need some advice on how to make sure it goes through as smoothly as possible, call one of our conveyancers today. See all our Residential Conveyancing services or complete the form linked here and we will call you back.

Further information is also available at


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