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Property Owner ID Requirements


Shared Equity Homeownership Scheme

A topic that is currently getting quite some traction is how do we verify identity in the most compliant way and how do we at the same time protect the privacy of those we are receiving information from?

The Minister for Fair Trading is developing new legislation that is exploring how tenant’s rental application information is being collected, stored and disposed of, with the potential for an electronic ID system to remove the requirement for the provision of copies of identification documentation.

However, whilst this is still in development and discussion within the New South Wales Government, we should consider and clarify what documentation you as an agent are collecting from your vendors and landlords to ensure that you are reducing the risks of identity fraud for your clients.

In CPD training this year we have been discussing the Australian Privacy Principles and what your agency should have in place to maintain, store and manage client’s information. A common question is – Do we as agents need to keep a copy of a vendor’s or landlord’s driver’s licence on our file to accompany the Fair Trading Vendor ID checklist even though we have completed the checklist?

The short answer is “NO” and in fact it would be suggested very strongly that you should not be obtaining a copy of a vendor or landlord’s driver’s licence or primary proof documents at all. The checklist actually only requires the agent to verify that they have sighted the document, not that they have retained a copy:

The original document or certified copy must be sighted. The document must show the individual’s name, day, month and year of birth, current photograph and signature.

It is also essential that the vendor checklist is completed correctly to ensure that identity fraud is minimised. In many cases, the ACOP trainers are being informed that agents are completing the form by adding the vendor’s or landlord’s driver’ licence number on the form in the section that requires a ‘Document Number’.

An agent should be completing this section of the form not with the driver’s licence number, which is a Government issued number that can identify a singular person. Rather, the form requires the card number of the driver’s licence (found in the top corner of the card), being a number that only identifies the card having been issued and not directly related to the person.

It should also be noted that a digital driver’s license being accessed on the NSW Services application also has a card number which is located in the bottom left corner if you scroll down.

The key point of information here is that a driver’s licence “card number” would not be a required number for the purposes of applying for finance or would not cause a risk of identity theft, whereas the actual driver’s licence number could most certainly be an issue.

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