Australia: An update to verification of identity requirements for mortgages in Queensland

Last Updated: 1 March 2016
Article by Brian Kirkup and Jeff Baker
Services: Financial Services
Industry Focus: Financial Services

What you need to know

  • For mortgage purposes, the verification of identity (VOI) requirements in Queensland will be updated from 1 March 2016 to align with what is essentially a unified model applied across Australia.
  • The VOI standard requires a financier or its agent to conduct a "face-to-face" in-person interview with the person being identified, who must produce the original documentation outlined in the VOI Standard to establish his or her identity.
  • Financiers must ensure they comply with the new VOI Standard in respect of identifying mortgagors if the financier wants to obtain the protection afforded by a presumption of compliance.

For mortgage purposes, the verification of identity (VOI) requirements in Queensland will be updated from 1 March 2016 to align with what is essentially a unified model applied across Australia.

As set out in our previous article, 1 the purpose of VOI is to ensure that the person executing the mortgage is the same as the person who is, or who will become, the registered proprietor of the land that is security for payment of a debt or obligation owed to a financier.

Position in Queensland

Currently in Queensland, financiers are presumed to have taken "reasonable steps" to identify mortgagors under the Land Title Act and the Land Act 2 if they comply with the identification requirements set out in the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (AML/CTF Act). Essentially, those practices reflect the '100 points of identification' provisions under Commonwealth legislation governing certain financial transactions.

The recent update to Queensland's Land Title Practice Manual (LTPM) means that the current VOI requirements for paper lodgements will be replaced with the national VOI standard (VOI Standard) set out in the Model Participation Rules determined pursuant to s23 of the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (Queensland) (Participation Rules). These practices align with those obligations for financial institutions and other subscribers who undertake land titling transactions electronically under the Queensland Participation Rules.

From 1 March 2016, the VOI Standard will replace the current requirements (i.e. compliance with the AML/CTF Act) so that a financier will be deemed to have taken "reasonable steps" if it follows the VOI Standard. Financiers can apply existing procedures in respect of VOI until 1 March 2016. This is the case whether the related mortgage is proposed to be lodged before or after 1 March 2016.

VOI Standard

The VOI Standard is set out in Schedule 8 of the Participation Rules (and will be set out in Part 60-2000 of the LTPM). It requires a financier or its agent to conduct a "face-to-face" in-person interview with the person being identified, who must produce the original documentation outlined in the VOI Standard to establish his or her identity. The new "category" system is a cascading arrangement: the individual being identified must produce original documents in one of the categories in order to establish their identity. They are required to start with Category 1, before moving to the next category if documents in that category cannot be produced. The financier must be reasonably satisfied that a prior category cannot be met before moving to the next category.

Financiers must also identify individuals signing on behalf of corporate mortgagors or attorneys in accordance with the VOI Standard in a manner much like that for the VOI requirements in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. In short, that requires the financier or its agent to verify the identity of the directors or attorneys in accordance with the new "category" system referred to above.

The VOI Standard also requires that financiers take further steps to verify the identity of the individual being identified where the financier ought reasonably know that the identification documentation is not genuine or any photo identification is not a reasonable likeness to the individual.

Differences between the VOI Standard and the WA and SA requirements

The VOI Standard to be adopted in Queensland aligns closely with that in New South Wales and Victoria. However, whilst the VOI Standard is much like the VOI requirements already adopted in South Australia and Western Australia, there are two minor differences:

  • the VOI Standard does not require lodgement of a separate letter with the relevant Land Titles Office or to make a notation certifying compliance with the VOI requirements on the mortgage, and
  • the VOI Standard does not require the mortgagor to execute the mortgage in front of the verifier.


Whilst the requirement remains for financiers to take "reasonable steps" to confirm the identity of a mortgagor, if a financier wants to obtain the protection afforded by a presumption of compliance, it should adhere to the VOI Standard.

If a financier chooses to use other methods to identify a mortgagor and an instance of fraud arises, the financier must prove that the identification method used was reasonable in the circumstances. If it cannot prove that reasonable steps were taken to verify the identity of the mortgagor, the financier will generally lose the benefit of indefeasibility of title (which follows from registration) and the mortgage will be void.

That said, fraudulent mortgages may remain enforceable in certain circumstances should the individual perpetrating the fraud be found to have used high quality forged identity documents.

Financiers will need to ensure that they have procedures and policies in place (particularly in regard to record-keeping – which now requires a written record of the steps taken in accordance with the VOI Standard) to:

  • demonstrate that they have taken proactive steps to comply with the VOI Standard, and
  • defend any claim to the contrary.

Whether or how a financier chooses to do so will involve balancing the costs of modifying its processes with the risks of noncompliance.


For the time being, Queensland will only require mortgagors to be verified under the VOI Standard. This will not extend to other parties signing dealings (such as transfers).

Financiers must ensure they comply with the new VOI Standard in respect of identifying mortgagors if the financier wants to obtain the protection afforded by a presumption of compliance.


Table 1 provides an updated comparison of the key differences in the jurisdictions.


1 Kirkup, Andreou & Luke, "An update to verification of identity requirements for mortgages in Australian jurisdictions" (2014) 30(1) Australian Banking and Finance Law Bulletin 277.
2 s11A of the Land Title Act 1994 and s288A(3) of the Land Act 1994

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.