Version 3 of the Model Participation Rules (MPR) removes
the nexus between verifying identity and witnessing transaction
Lenders and those involved in the finance industry will be
greatly relieved by the Australian Registrars' National
Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) release of Version 3 of
the MPR for electronic conveyancing.
The matter that was of great concern to us in March was the
proposal to amend the MPR for electronic conveyancing to require
the person verifying the identity of a party to a conveyancing
transaction to also witness that person's signature on the
For lenders that would have created a massive disruption to
current procedures. Lenders generally verify the identity of the
customer at an early date and only later require the customer to
sign transaction documents, in particular the mortgage.
Fortunately the final of Version 3 of the MPR removes the nexus
between verifying identity and signing transaction documents.
Click here to view Version 3 of the MPR. Any reference to
witnessing signatures has now been removed from the relevant
provision in Schedule 8 to the MPR:
2 Face-to-face regime
2.1 The verification of identity must be conducted during a
face-to-face in-person interview between the Identity Verifier and
the Person Being Identified.
2.2 Where Documents containing photographs are produced by
the Person Being Identified, the Identity Verifier must be
satisfied that the Person Being Identified is a reasonable likeness
(for example the shape of his or her mouth, nose, eyes and the
position of his or her cheek bones) to the Person depicted in those
Another change made by ARNECC is to allow Australian passports
that have expired within the past two years to be acceptable as a
form of identification, along with foreign passports without
evidence of an Australian resident visa.
But debate is not over yet. Attention will now focus on bringing
the various states and territories into line to make sure they
adopt verification of identity standards consistent with the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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