Why do we do Verification Of Identity (VOI) checks?

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What is a Verification Of Identity (VOI)?

A verification of identity, or VOI as we will call it for the purpose of this blog, is a procedure taken to ensure that the rightful owners and new purchasers are conducting property transactions. We generally identify that the client we are acting for, and persons we are taking instructions from are who they claim to be.

For the purpose this blog, we will focus on the requirement for a VOI to be done for the conveyancing and property settlements process, due to increased cyber hackings as it mitigates risks of fraudulent property transfers.

What are the advantages of doing a VOI?

There are many advantages to both buyers and sellers of doing a VOI, but the main advantage is the improved security for both buyers and sellers:

  1. VOI ensures that the person signing documents, whether transfer documents or a new mortgage for a new property, is who they claim to be, reducing the risk of identity theft.
  2. The sellers collecting settlement funds are who they claim to be, reducing the risk of fraud and theft.
  3. If the VOI is done very early in the process, we are able to ensure we have your correct spelling of names (without any missing middle names or misspelling etc).
  4. Getting to meet your solicitor face to face.

What are the disadvantages of not doing a VOI?

Many things could go wrong if a buyer or seller does not do a VOI. Some of these include:

  1. Identity theft for a buyer, defrauding the banks and the seller, in order to obtain a lump sum of mortgage funds for other purposes.
  2. Invalid transfer of property being made, where one party was not actually the real person transferring the property to/from the other.
  3. Fraudulent collection of funds by a fraudulent party posing as the seller, leaving an owner of a property out of pocket and a buyer with no home.
  4. Identity theft in general, where confidential information such as searches, contract, bank account details and photo ID are provided to a fraudulent person during the course of conveyancing.

How to do your VOI when buying or selling a property?

The two ways we conduct our clients’ VOIs are one of the following:

  1. Attend one of our offices – Sunshine Coast or Brisbane at no additional cost; or
  2. Attend an Australia Post office – cost is approx. $49.00/per person at the moment, but may change depending on price increases by Australia Post itself.

You must provide two (2) forms of original photo ID such as Passport and Driver’s Licence. If you do not hold both a Passport and Driver’s Licence, you will need to provide us with one form of photo ID along with Medicare Card and Birth Certificate.

Of course, there are instances where you may not hold these kind of documents, in which case we will need to go based on the following table:

If you require assistance with conveyancing and VOI, or have queries about your VOI requirements, please get in touch with us here

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