Following on from my recent article on electronic signatures, HM Land Registry have introduced new temporary measures to make it easier to verify a person’s identity and to sign deeds. The new temporary measures come into force from 4th May 2020.
VERIFYING A PERSON’S IDENTITY:
Previously, HM Land Registry only permitted conveyancers or chartered legal executives to verify a person’s identity.
The new temporary changes allow those who work in the following professions to verify someone’s identity:
- Solicitors and barristers;
- Bank officials and regulated financial advisers;
- Doctors, dentists or veterinary surgeons;
- Chartered and certified accountants;
- Police officers and members of the UK armed forces;
- Teachers and university teaching staff;
- Members of Parliament and Welsh Assembly members;
- UK civil servants of senior executive office grade or above; and
Verification by a video call is also now permitted.
A link to the relevant Practice Guide can be found here: practice guide 67A: temporary changes to HM Land Registry’s evidence of identity requirements.
EXECUTION OF DEEDS
Whilst a signatory will still need to sign a deed in “wet ink” in the presence of a witness who is physically present, HM Land Registry will temporarily accept deeds signed using the “Mercury signing approach”.
This means the signatory can send a scan or photo of the signed signature page, together with a copy of the agreed form of the document to their conveyancer, and HM Land Registry will accept the deed executed using this method.
A link to the relevant Practice Guide can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/execution-of-deeds/practice-guide-8-execution-of-deeds
If you have any questions about how to approach electronic signatures, please contact Alex Porter by email on firstname.lastname@example.org by telephone 0207 644 7273 or connect with him on LinkedIn, or Steven Porter, Partner by email on email@example.com or by telephone 0207 644 6091 or connect with him on LinkedIn.