https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/09/17/gov-uk-verify/

GOV.UK Verify - almost ready for public beta

GOV.UK Verify

GOV.UK Verify is the new way for people to prove who they are when using digital services. It will replace face-to-face and postal methods of verifying people’s identity, so the process can be done online.

We’re excited to announce the next big milestone in our programme - we will be ready to go into public beta in October. This means that services connected to GOV.UK Verify will be able to allow users to access their service without requiring an individual invitation.

GOV.UK Verify has been in private beta since February 2014 with HMRC's PAYE for employees service, DVLA's View Driving Licence service and Defra’s CAP Information Service each starting to test the service with a small number of invited users.

We’ve continued our user research programme and continued to refine and develop the service based on what we’ve learned in the lab and from larger-scale quantitative testing.

We’ve learned a lot and changed quite a few things along the way, including our name and the design of the user interface.

Having tested a range of different ways of describing the service with users, we’ve concluded that ‘GOV.UK Verify’ works better than the alternatives  as a way of telling people clearly what to expect when they use the service - so that's the name we are taking into public beta. 

28 comments

  1. Matt

    How does someone register to be part of the public beta phase?

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hello Matt
      You don't need to sign up - it will appear as part of the transaction you're using at the time if that transaction is using GOV.UK Verify as the way to allow people to identify themselves. GOV.UK Verify will become the way to access an increasing range of services over time. We'll publish details of each service that starts using GOV.UK Verify here.

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    • Veronica Green

      How do I verify, cannot find application form to fill in for this service

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      • Rebecca Hales

        Hi Veronica, thanks for your comment.

        Please start with the service you want to access (eg renew your tax credits) and follow the links to GOV.UK Verify from there.

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  2. Steve

    Hello,

    Is GOV.UK Verify essentially the brand name for Identity Assurance or something different?

    Thanks,

    Steve

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Steve - yes, we've decided to call it GOV.UK Verify as we found that 'verify' made more sense to users than the alternatives (including identity assurance) and gave people a clearer, more accurate understanding of what to expect.

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      • Steve

        Hi Janet,

        Thanks very much for your speedy response.

        Steve

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  3. Ian

    what information is the user required to share with 'Verify' ?

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Ian - we're about to publish a post that covers some of this, later today, so hopefully that will start to answer your question.

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  4. Brenda

    Hello Steve, I work for the Local Authority and we require to find out vehicle owners who have used their vehicles for flytipping etc. Would this site be able to be used for this investigation.

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Brenda,

      Thanks for commenting and for your question.

      GOV.UK Verify is a way for people to prove their identity to a defined level of assurance when they're using government services. It isn't available for local authorities yet, but we do want GOV.UK Verify to be available for local authorities to use in the future. We've built the service to make that possible and we've supported alpha projects with local government services through the Open Identity Exchange – see http://oixuk.org/?page_id=10 for information about them.

      However, we haven’t yet developed the model for how GOV.UK Verify would be used by local authorities; we're prioritising central government services in the first instance and will start working on this as we move into next year.

      If the service you're thinking of is about the local authority finding out who owns a vehicle, then this isn't the service for you - I'm afraid I'm not able to advise on what's possible or appropriate for that purpose; you'd need to talk to DVLA about that I think.

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  5. Steve

    How do you verify your identity when your passport has less than 6 months to run?

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Steve, thanks for your question. If your passport is still valid it is permissible as evidence to support the process of verifying your identity for the first time, so you should still be able to use it. However, you may later be asked to provide alternative evidence to replace your expired passport, if the provider needs to do that to maintain the required level of assurance. This might be a new passport, or an alternative such as your driver licence.

      Over time we will be adding more ways for people to provide evidence of their identity, so that people who don't have a passport or driver licence will be able to verify their identity entirely digitally using GOV.UK Verify.

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      • Steve

        Unfortunately your response isn't right - I was asked for driving licence information and then it went back to passport verification so I was unable to verify my identity and access the services.

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        • Janet Hughes

          Hi Steve, sorry I misunderstood your comment - I thought you were asking a general question about the standards. The standards don't require providers to treat passports differently if they are within their last 6 months - if a passport is valid, then it is valid from our point of view. I now realise you were feeding back having tried out one of the providers' services, so I'll pass on this feedback to the provider as part of the feedback we're collating from people who try out the service at this early stage. Thanks again for commenting and feeding back on your experience.

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  6. Tyler Welmans

    Hi - Has any research or activity taken place around the integration of identity assurance capabilities such as this with emerging asset registration protocols based on blockchain technology?

    For instance, the DVLA asset register could be easily modeled within a blockchain (either the bitcoin blockchain or an alternative/bespoke chain) with vehicles represented as digital assets and assigned to ownership identities which in turn are linked to verified identities.

    Asset (vehicle) ownership transfer would be a simple, instant process, driving licenses could be instantly verifiable and tax could be automatically paid (and recorded, and unpaid vehicles recognised) through the blockchain, and the use of an opesource, distributed architecture greatly reduce infrastructure costs and would allow all sorts of additional private sector innovation to emerge.

    Imagine your car is registered to your digital wallet address, all of a sudden you can use your RFID enabled phone to unlock it.

    Want to sell your vehicle? Just mark it for sale on the blockchain (value added apps would emerge to organise this into a consumer service).

    Car stolen, mark it on the blockchain, offer a bounty for anyone who spots it - anyone in the world could access this and keep an eye out.

    Imagine you operate a haulage company and want to pay centrally for fleet fuel, just tag the vehicles in your fleet on the blockchain and fuel companies could instantly recognise and allow those vehicles to simply fill up and drive away.

    Automated toll payment (or payment in advance)... identity-verified lift sharing systems, the list goes on, and vehicle registration is just one small use case, a fraction of what is possible... this is real innovation, and this is the kind of thing we should be pioneering in the UK. Bring it on!

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  7. Henry Hadlow

    Hi Janet,
    Your blog is still called Identity Assurance!
    Henry

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Henry - yes, we're still called the identity assurance programme; our only public-facing digital product so far is GOV.UK Verify, but we're still responsible for a wider range of things relating to identity assurance (for example we work on identity assurance for businesses, which is outside the scope of GOV.UK Verify).

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  8. Sinead

    Having a look at other government digital services throughout the world. It would seem Netherlands is a front runner, hoping to have all their transactions online by 2017. To verify their customers they use something called DigiD. Almost 70% of the country are signed up with more than 117million transactions recorded in 2013. The apply for their ID online using a their social security number and then receive a letter detailing their log in credentials. If it is working here why are we spending time, effort and money reinventing the wheel?

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi, thanks for your comment.
      Digidentity, the company that runs DigID, is one of the certified companies that's part of GOV.UK Verify, and they are making full use of their experience and knowledge in the Netherlands. However GOV.UK works differently in that it can verify your identity entirely digitally without you having to wait for anything to come in the post. That means you can complete the initial verification process at your convenience, in one sitting, and you'll be immediately given your credentials to sign in to services that use GOV.UK Verify rather than having to wait for them to be sent to you.

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  9. Ramon Bravo

    Hi,

    I understand that to use this service users need to have a UK passport in addition to a UK driving licence. Are you planning to allow EU citizens (with EU passports) and with UK driving licences to register into this scheme, as the public beta does not allow this?

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi, thanks for your question.

      It's possible for certified companies to do this, so long as they use methods that meet the required levels of assurance to establish that documents are valid and / or genuine. If and when that happens, we'll include details as part of the GOV.UK Verify service so people with European passports and a UK driving licence can choose a certified company that's likely to work for them.

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      • Lorenzo

        Looking at the GPG45, it seems that
        - EEA/EU Government issued identity cards that comply with Council Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004 plus
        - EEA/EU full driving licences that comply with European Directive 2006/126/EC
        should be enough for LoA2.
        Does it mean that even a EU citizen, like me, could obtain a Verify Digital Identity?
        Thanks

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        • Janet Hughes

          Hello Lorenzo, thanks for your question.
          Yes, the standards allow certified companies to accept a range of evidence. It's up to certified companies to decide what evidence they will accept within the standards though, and at the moment they are not able to accept EU identity cards or driving licences. However we are expecting this situation to change and develop fairly quickly, and we'll announce here as and when companies start increasing the range of evidence people can use.

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  10. jean cooper

    I work for an insurance company and we use driving licence and counterpart together with CBT for motorcycles to check if a policy holders documents are valid.

    How will we be able to do this?

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  11. Gordon sanders

    Hi I gave my driving licence bank passport as id and got rejected

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Gordon - thank you for your comment.

      I’m sorry your chosen certified company could not verify you. There are lots of reasons why a certified company may not be able to verify you. We do appreciate how frustrating that can be for those we are unable to verify at this stage. GOV.UK Verify is in beta (trial), which means it is constantly being developed and improved based on feedback from people who use it. We’re not able to verify everyone yet using GOV.UK Verify but we’re working to constantly expand and improve the service.

      There will continue to be other ways for people to access services if we’re not able to verify their identity through GOV.UK Verify. If you haven't already, then please do return to the service you wanted to use and follow the guidance on the other ways that exist for you to access the service.

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