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Buying Property – When You Need to Prove Your Identity

Depending on the State/Territory in which you are buying property, verifying your identity can be a crucial step in finalising your property purchase.   If it’s not done promptly, it can delay the process.

Some States have recently introduced new identify verification rules or updated the current ones already in place. So what does this mean for your property purchase?

As applies to Contracts for Sale, each State/Territory has different rules to verify your identity. We understand that this can be confusing and we can help you every step of the way, regardless of where in Australia you are buying property.

In addition to State/Territory Government requirements, your bank or lender may have its own requirements for verifying your identity prior to issuing mortgage documents. This will vary between banks and we recommend that you speak with your lender directly.


Victoria introduced strict verification of identity requirements towards the end of last year and it falls under three categories:

  1. verification of your identity;
  2. verification that you are a legal person; and
  3. verification that you have the legal right to enter into the transaction.

In order to verify your identification, if you an individual, you must have a face to face interview at which you will be required to produce certain original identification documents such as a passport, driver’s licence, birth or citizenship certificate, or Medicare or Centrelink card. This interview can conveniently be conducted at your local Australia Post branch and we can provide you with the forms that must be completed.

If you are buying the property as a company or other corporate body, the identity verification procedure will be a little more involved as you will need to :

  • conduct a search of the records of the relevant regulatory body (such as ASIC for companies);
  • take reasonable steps to identify the person/s authorised to sign, or witness the affixing of any seal, on behalf of your corporate entity; and
  • verify the identity of each person who will sign the documents on behalf of your corporate entity in accordance with the Standard Procedure prescribed.

New South Wales

In order for the Contract to purchase the property to be assessed and stamp duty paid in NSW, you must provide certified copies of your identification. A driver’s licence or passport will suffice. These will need to be provided with your signed Contract and Transfer. At Ozpropertylaw, we lodge these documents on your behalf as a part of our conveyancing service.

South Australia

In SA your identity must be verified whenever you sign a conveyancing instrument- ie sell, buy or transfer property. As an individual, you must have a face to face interview with either a solicitor or Justice of the Peace or other authorized agent. During this interview, you must show them your original identification (eg driver’s licence and passport). The verifier must be satisfied that you are of reasonable likeness to the person depicted in the photograph on the driver’s licence and/or passport.

In addition, if you are located interstate, the person verifying your identification will also need to complete an ‘Agent Certification’ form. We can prepare this document for you as a part of our conveyancing service.

Australian Capital Territory

When you buy property in the ACT there is no requirement to verify your identification or even provide copies of your identification. It is only required when you are applying for stamp duty concessions or deferral of payment of stamp duty. If you are applying for these, you will need to provide a copy of your certified birth certificate if you were born in Australia, or if you were born overseas but are an Australian citizen, a copy of your certified Australian passport and citizenship certificate.


Tasmania currently does not have a prescribed verification of identity requirement.


In Queensland your identity does not have to be verified before your property purchase can settle. You do not need to prove your identity when you are applying for a stamp duty concession.

Western Australia

In WA there is a verification of identity requirement only if you are selling your property.

Northern Territory

The NT does not have any prescribed verification of identity requirement.


March 2016


The material in this blog is general in nature. It is made available on the understanding that OzPropertyLaw is not thereby engaged in rendering professional legal advice. Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

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