Bulletin No. 331 | 20 March 2020

CIB 331: COVID-19 Impacts on requirements for Verification of Identity inside and outside Australia and document witnessing outside of Australia

20 March 2020

The health and safety of all community members is of the highest priority, particularly in the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is acknowledged that in the current environment it may be difficult to apply:

  • full face-to-face verification of identity process; and
  • overseas witnessing requirements.

Verification of Identity – Inside and Outside Australia

Where face-to-face VOI cannot be completed as a direct result of COVID-19, conveyancers, legal practitioners and mortgagees are to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of the parties for both paper-based and electronic transactions. Conveyancers, legal practitioners and mortgagees are responsible for determining what is reasonable under the circumstances.   As usual, evidence of these steps is required to be documented and retained in accordance with normal practice.

Self-represented parties are still required to have their identity verified at an Australia Post outlet.

Witnessing Overseas

We understand that it may be difficult under the current circumstances for people overseas who are transacting on land in Western Australia to travel to Consular Offices Where this is the case, one of the other persons authorised under section 145(1) (b) of the Transfer of Land Act 1893 may be used to witness documents.

It is important that the highest levels of vigilance continue during this difficult time to ensure the security and integrity of property transactions remains uncompromised and the security and integrity of our State’s land titles system is maintained.

These arrangements will remain in place until further notice.

If you have any questions, please email: dealings@landgate.wa.gov.au or call Customer Service on 08 9273 7373.

Susan Dukes                     Jean Villani

Commissioner of Titles   Registrar of Titles

This page was last updated on: 23 Mar 2020