What is a VOI and Its Essential Requirements

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Verification of Identity, or VOI, is essential in numerous transactions, particularly in real estate. But what is a VOI? Many individuals unfamiliar with legal or property jargon may need clarification on this term. VOI is a process that verifies the identity of a person involved in a transaction, adding an extra layer of protection against fraudulent activities.

What is a VOI?

What is a verification of identity?

Verification of Identity, also known as VOI, is a process that confirms an individual’s identity to reduce the risk of identity fraud in various transactions, especially in real estate. VOI procedures are essential in many jurisdictions worldwide, including Australia, to ensure that transaction participants are who they claim to be.

Who Needs a VOI? 

What is a VOI, and who needs it?

A Verification of Identity (VOI) is generally needed by anyone who is a party to a property transaction. This can include:

Buyers and sellers of property: Whether buying or selling a home, commercial property, or land, you’ll generally need to go through the VOI process.

Mortgagors and mortgagees: If you’re taking out a mortgage to buy a property or if you’re a lender providing a mortgage, the VOI process is usually required.

Landlords and tenants: In some jurisdictions and under certain circumstances, landlords and tenants might also need a VOI, particularly for long-term leases.

Conveyors and attorneys: If you’re acting on behalf of another person in a property transaction, such as if you’re their lawyer or if they’ve granted you power of attorney, you’ll generally also need a VOI.

Property developers: If you’re subdividing land or involved in other forms of property development, you may need to go through the VOI process.

What Are the Essential VOI Requirements? 

What are the essential VOI requirements and the Verification of Identity Standard in QLD?

The essential requirements for a VOI procedure can vary based on jurisdiction but generally include the following:

Face-to-face interview: The person whose identity needs to be verified must be present in person for an interview with an authorised person (a conveyancer, solicitor, or authorised agent).

Original identification documents: The person must provide certain original identification documents. These typically include a passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate. The specific documents required can vary, but they usually need a combination of photo identification and proof of residence.

Record Keeping: The details of the VOI, including copies of identification documents and the date and place of the interview, must be recorded and kept for a specified period (usually seven years in Australia). This information may be needed for future reference or in case of an audit.

Reasonable steps: Those responsible for conducting the VOI must take “reasonable steps” to verify the person’s identity. This means they must be satisfied that the documents are genuine and belong to the person presenting them. In cases of doubt, they may need to take further steps to confirm the person’s identity.

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What is a VOI, and Why Is It Important?

VOI is a process designed to prevent property fraud and protect the rights of property owners by ensuring that the people involved in a property transaction are legit.

VOI became more widespread following changes to conveyancing laws and procedures in several jurisdictions. For instance, VOI checks are a legal requirement under the Model Participation Rules of the Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC). The same regulations may vary depending on your location.

The VOI process often involves the following:

The person whose identity is being verified (the “interviewee”) must meet with an authorised person (the “interviewer”) – this can be a lawyer, conveyancer, or a specially trained VOI service provider. Sometimes this can be done remotely using video technology, but the requirements vary.

The interviewee needs to provide original documents that prove their identity. This can include items like a passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, Medicare card, utility bills, etc. The documents required can vary, but the aim is to provide evidence of the interviewee’s name, date of birth and residential address.

The interviewer will take copies of these documents and complete a VOI report, which is then kept on record.

A lawyer or conveyancer must conduct this VOI process because it’s a critical step in protecting against fraudulent property transactions. Ensuring that all parties are who they claim to be reduces the risk of fraud, which helps protect both parties involved in the transaction and the integrity of the property transaction system.

How Does Post Office Verification of Identity Work?

What is a VOI, and how does post office verification of identity work?

Australia Post provides an Identity Verification service often used in real estate transactions and other situations where a person’s identity must be confirmed. This can be especially useful for individuals who need help to meet with their conveyancer or lawyer in person.

Here’s how the process generally works:

Prepare for your visit: First, You must collect all the necessary documents. Australia Post generally requires you to bring original versions of certain identification documents, such as your passport or driver’s license. The specific requirements will depend on the category of identification documents that you are using (for example, you may need one document from Category A and two from Category B or other combinations as specified).

Fill out a VOI form: Depending on the nature of the transaction, you may need to fill out a specific VOI form. For instance, for a property transaction, you might need to complete the “Land Titles Identity Verification Form” or a similar form provided by your conveyancer or lawyer.

Visit an Australia Post outlet: Bring your identification documents and any necessary forms to an eligible Australia Post outlet. A trained Australia Post staff member will check your documents, confirm your identity, and witness you signing the form there.

Payment: You’ll need to pay a fee for this service at the post office.

Confirmation: Australia Post will receive and give you a receipt with a reference number once the process is complete. This receipt and the completed form can be returned to your conveyancer or lawyer, who can then use the reference number to check the details of the VOI online.

This service allows individuals to conveniently confirm their identity at a local post office, which can be especially useful if they cannot travel to meet with their lawyer or conveyancer in person.

How Does a Land Title ID Check in Australia Post Work?

What is a VOI for a land title and land title verification of identity form?

The Land Title Verification of Identity (VOI) is a procedure Australia Post offers to ensure that the rightful owners conduct property transactions. This process is used for various real estate transactions and mitigates risks of fraudulent property transfers. Here’s how the Land Title ID check with Australia Post works:

Get the VOI form: Obtain the “Land Titles Identity Verification Form” from your conveyancer or lawyer. You can also download this form from the website of the relevant land titles office in your state or territory or from your conveyancer’s or lawyer’s online platform.

Fill out the form: Complete the form with your details. Be sure to read it carefully to make sure you understand all the requirements.

Prepare documents: Gather the necessary original identification documents. You usually need a mix of documents such as a passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or Medicare card. The specific combination of documents required will be indicated on the form.

Visit Australia Post: Take the completed “Land Titles Identity Verification Form” and your original identification documents to an Australia Post outlet that provides the identity verification service.

Identity Check: A trained Australia Post staff member will check your documents, verify your identity, and witness your signature on the form.

Pay the fee: There’s a fee for this service, which you’ll need to pay at the post office.

Return the form: Australia Post will receive and give you a receipt with a reference number once the process is completed. The form and the receipt with the reference number should then be returned to your conveyancer or lawyer, who can use the reference number to check the details of your identity verification online.

What Is A VOI, and Why It’s Important? 

Let our experienced team at Walker Pender Group guide you through the Verification of Identity process seamlessly. We’re committed to safeguarding your interests. Visit our website or call us today to learn more about ‘What is a VOI?’ and how our expert services can provide peace of mind.

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