https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/14/gov-uk-verify-public-beta/

GOV.UK Verify public beta

This post is about the launch of GOV.UK Verify's public beta, which took place in October 2014. For help with Government Gateway, you will need to contact HMRC direct.

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Today we’ve been marking an important milestone for GOV.UK Verify: we’ve completed all the work we need to do to go into public beta.

GOV.UK Verify isn’t a standalone service - it’s a way for people to prove their identity when they are accessing government services that need to know who they are. So in our case, ‘public beta’ means we’re ready to start allowing government services to use GOV.UK Verify without having to issue special invitations. The first service will start doing that shortly and we’ll let you know here when that happens.

GOV.UK Verify has been in private beta since February. We’ve been testing the service with a selection of invited users of 3 government services whilst carrying on developing and improving the service.

Since February, we’ve been working on a number of fronts to get ready for public beta:

  • We’ve built the document checking service to allow identity providers to validate people’s driver licence and / or passport details.
  • We’ve developed and implemented a new front end for the part of GOV.UK Verify that allows users to choose an identity provider.
  • We’ve achieved pan-government accreditation, which means we’re accredited as having done the necessary work to secure and protect our cross-government service so it’s ready for public access.

Why GOV.UK Verify is needed

Part of the transformation of digital services involves making it possible for people to do more things entirely digitally. GOV.UK Verify is the new way for people to prove their identity when using digital services.

As government digital services become more sophisticated, allowing people to amend their records or giving them access to whole transactions online, there’s an increasing need to know with a higher degree of confidence that users are who they say they are. Before GOV.UK Verify, it wasn’t possible for an individual to verify their identity digitally to this level of assurance - they would have to send documents in the post, talk to someone on the phone or attend a counter service.

GOV.UK Verify, in its early stages of public beta, will allow most people to verify their identity entirely digitally for the first time to the level of assurance that will be needed for digital government services.

Developing GOV.UK Verify over time

Public beta is a significant step for GOV.UK Verify, but there is still a lot of work to do. We’ll working to improve and scale the service over the coming months and years.

More identity providers

As we go into our public beta, we will have one identity provider that’s certified for wider public use. By the end of the year we’ll have 4. These certified companies will offer a range of ways for people to verify their identity, with each method having been developed to meet the same level of assurance but using different approaches to get there.

More services

The next step will be the first service to start allowing users to access its service through GOV.UK Verify without invitations. This will happen within the next couple of weeks.

As we continue to develop and scale up, more services will start to use GOV.UK Verify when they need to be sure they are dealing with the correct user - we’ll announce details of these services in the coming weeks. This will also allow users to re-use their GOV.UK Verify credentials to access the increasing range of services.

More ways to prove who you are

To use the public beta service at this stage, you need to have a passport or photocard driver’s licence and have been financially active in the UK for a while. We’ll be carrying on developing and expanding GOV.UK Verify so it will work for more people over time. For example, we’ll be starting work to add more official validation services to the document checking service so that people who don’t have a valid driver licence or passport, can use alternative types of official evidence instead.

Nobody is excluded from a service if they can’t verify their identity through GOV.UK Verify at this stage - other channels remain available for people who are not able to use digital services, including if they are not able to verify their identity entirely digitally. GOV.UK Verify directs users who are unable to verify to these channels, service by service.

Continuously improving the service

We’ve built GOV.UK Verify based on more than a year of user research, iteration and development. As more people start to use GOV.UK Verify to access services, we’ll work closely with departments to analyse user feedback and continuously improve the service.

129 comments

  1. Annette Cuthbertson

    I tried to register on GOV.UK Verify but had to cancel at the end as I did not have my Bank Statements to hand to verify monthly credit agreement figures. Also when it asked me to insert my Car Licence details it asked for an issue number but the photo licence does not specify where to find this (I guessed it was the two digit number which followed the driving licence number). Can you insert a help box to show where you find the issue number? Also can you state you need a statement to hand to verify outcome.

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hello Annette, thanks for your feedback. It's difficult to do what you've suggested because the design of driver licences has changed over time so it's not in the same place on everyone's licence. But we've been working in our user research and with identity providers to help find the most useful ways of making it clear what specific information is needed, and will pass this on to help inform ongoing improvements to the service.

      Link to this comment
    • michael

      I am trying to verify my identity and I am told that my passport expiry date is wrong. I am imputing the correct details but the computer is not accepting them . Where can I get my identity verified

      Link to this comment
      • Emily Ch'ng

        Hi Annette,

        Before I can help to answer your query can I please first check whether or not you've set up an online account with Government Gateway, or with GOV.UK Verify, which uses certified companies to verify your identity?

        Thanks

        Emily

        Link to this comment
  2. Philip Virgo

    Did the private BETA include penetration tests, organised by CESG, to assess the level of security of the services?

    Will the public BETA include a routine for others to organise such tests before they place faith in the service?

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Philip, thanks for your question. We commission penetration tests as part of our work to make the service secure and safe for public use. The service is accredited by the pan-government accreditor, and we have to do ongoing work to maintain that accreditation.

      The identity providers have to have ISO 27001 certification (information security and management) and be certified by an independent certification body, tScheme. Before any provider connects to the hub for public beta, we also verify that they have adequate security arrangements in place as part of the process of them fulfilling their contractual obligations for onboarding.

      Link to this comment
  3. Phil Campbell

    Does this relate purely to the verification of identity for the purpose of interracting with central Government? There are many potential uses in local government as well.

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      GOV.UK Verify 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.

      Link to this comment
  4. Paul ONeill

    Has there been consideration of in addition to checking known facts (eg from passport / driving license / other official documents) - the option of verifying that the applicant also holds the physical documents? This could be through intelligent scanning of such documents using web / mobile phone capture - and indeed automatically extracting details from these? This would help prevent the scenario of identity theft where someone has access to information, but not the relevant documents....?

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Paul, thanks for commenting.

      The standards are designed so that no one source of evidence is sufficient to prove your identity to the required level of assurance. The certified companies have to check a range of evidence and use different methods to establish that the user is who they say they are to the required level of assurance. This is set out in more detail in published standards (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/identity-proofing-and-verification-of-an-individual) and the IPV operations manual (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/govuk-verify-ipv-operations-manual-redacted).

      Identity providers can use a range of ways to confirm the evidence is in the possession of the user and meet the standards, depending on how they’ve designed their their service and the evidence the user is able to present. One option might include scanning documents, as you’ve described, and some certified companies are looking at ways of doing this - we expect the first of these to be available before the end of the year.

      Link to this comment
  5. Ed Powell

    Will this service be available to the private sector to verify identities or is it just intended to verify consumers of government services? I am particulalrly interested in banking and legal sectors.

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Ed - thanks for your question, we'll be publishing a post about this in the next day or two to give a bit more of a full answer about our thoughts on this.

      Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      • RASHMI GUPTA

        Hi ,
        Can I get some information on the cost of the service if the private sector companies want to use the Identification service?
        Also when would this identification service be open for the private sector to use ?

        I saw similar question on the blog , but it was posted months back. Would appreciate if updated information can be provided.

        Link to this comment
        • Janet Hughes

          Hi, thanks for your question.

          As you say, we posted on this question a while back - https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/23/identity-assurance-for-local-authority-and-private-sector-services/

          We've been working on the procurement of a new framework for certified companies - the deadline for bids was 16 February and we're now in the evaluation process. (See our posts on that tag for information about that.) We don't expect to make progress on the question of private sector use of GOV.UK Verify until after we've completed that procurement process, and we'll post here when we start working on that in earnest.

          In the meantime, we're continuing to work through the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) on a range of projects - that's our main way to work with private sector. See oixuk.org for information about OIX and the projects we're involved in there.

          Link to this comment
    • Cristian

      And if I have no passport or driving licence how can I register online? is not fair. I tried to register online for p800 refund but it`s impossible.

      Link to this comment
      • Emily Ch'ng

        Hi Cristian,

        I'm sorry to hear you've been having difficulties. Have you tried to use GOV.UK Verify? You may be able to access this service by logging into your personal tax account via the GOV.UK Verify pathway, as you do not need to have a passport or a driver's licence to use this service.

        The link for this is here: https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account

        If this doesn't work, you'd might like to try contacting Income Tax's general enquiries through 0300 200 3300.

        Link to this comment
        • Don Garforth

          Rubbish the link you have given takes you to a page that asks for passport details yet you claim that you do not need one

          Link to this comment
          • Emily Ch'ng

            Hi Don,

            When you click on the link, there should be a section that states "Before you start" (below the green start now button) and an option to log in using GOV.UK Verify.

            GOV.UK Verify is an alternative way to Government Gateway to prove who you are online so you can access digital services securely and safely and at your convenience and without having to use postal or face-to-face services. You also may be able to use it if you do not have a passport.

            One of the certified companies introduced a new method of verification meaning that if you have a bank account and a credit or debit card, you can now verify your identity without either a passport or driving licence.

            If you return to the service, you'd might like to try going back through the GOV.UK Verify path and select 'no' when asked if you have a passport, you should be able to chose a certified company that may be able to verify you. If you choose that company, you will be provided with a list of requirements needed for them to verify you and you should be able to proceed from there.

            Link to this comment
  6. Evan

    Really like the sound of this, much better to do it once, properly, than let several less-skilled departments mess about with user verification.

    Can't immediately see if there's anywhere I could trial it. Is there?

    Link to this comment
  7. POPO

    Look, I have never owned a mobile phone, do not have one now, nor do I want one in the future. My life gets by fine without one. What am I to do, we are not all techno-geeks. I have my landline and internet, that is about it. I REFUSE TO HAVE A MOBILE PHONE, IT IS JUST ANOTHER FORM OF TRACKING US!!!

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi and thanks for your comment. You won't need a mobile phone to use GOV.UK Verify if you don't have one. Identity providers have to include a second step when you sign in, to make sure it's really you each time you sign in. But they can use a range of methods, including calling your landline or sending you a code by email, and some of the providers will offer those options if you prefer to use them instead of receiving a text to your mobile phone. Without this second step it would be easier for someone to steal your username and password and pretend to be you.

      Link to this comment
  8. Andrew

    So, basically, whatever organisation we do chose as an identity provider will have access to all Gov.uk services in our name. Whether they are 'certified' or not, they have the keys to the kingdom.

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Andrew, thanks for your comment.
      The identity providers don't have any direct access to services - when you want to use a government service, you are directed to the identity assurance hub, where you'll be asked either to verify your identity for the first time or sign in using the certified company that verified your identity previously. Once you've verified your identity and / or authenticated with the identity provider, they will assure the identity assurance hub that it's really you. The hub passes that message back to the service you're trying to access, and you're then matched to your record within that service.

      Link to this comment
      • Andy

        With reference to the comment https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/14/gov-uk-verify-public-beta/#comment-14080
        The whole point of an identity provider is that they (a) hold your digital identity and (b) provide credentials to a third party (eg HMRC) to allow access to your services (eg your Self-Assessment services). This means that an organization acting as an identity provider (and by implication some members of their staff) does indeed have the potential to be able to access all services and associated information associated with each and every individual whose digital identity they hold, and it is important that we are all fully aware of this fact. Individuals then rely on the identity provider to match them up correctly with the digital identity held on their behalf to be able to access the third party services.
        The question is whether we as citizens are content to have commercial organisations which are largely driven by financial factors in that position of great trust. In the information provided I have seen much about verifying individuals' identities, but little about the level of trust that citizens will have to place in these commercial organisations which are not, as organisations, subject to the same public service standards as public sector organisations and their employees.

        Link to this comment
        • Janet Hughes

          Hi Andy, thanks for your comment.

          We've been working with privacy and consumer experts for about 3 years to help make sure we build GOV.UK Verify in a way that people can trust. Our Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group has developed some identity assurance principles which we've embedded into the design of GOV.UK Verify, and into our contractual framework for certified companies. See our posts on privacy for more information about this: https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/tag/privacy/

          We also make sure that certified companies meet government and industry standards to protect people's privacy and keep their data secure. We've posted about that here: https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/12/11/what-it-means-to-be-a-certified-company/

          Link to this comment
  9. Philip Moore

    Philip, 17/11/2014.
    How would i register as i already act on behalf of my mother with "power or attorney", she is 92yrs of age and has no driving licence or passport,for proof of identity i have been involved with the paper work of the single payment scheme since it started,her name is on the farm address?

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Philip, thanks for your question. I think you're considering how to access the new online CAP application and payments service? If so, help will available for you by phone or email - you'll be given information about this when you receive your registration pack, which will be sent to your single payment scheme registered address.

      Link to this comment
  10. paul sample

    it seems that nowhere mentions any cost!?!?! im sure thrid parties will be charging someone for doing this work. also it doesnt mention how much tax payers money has been wasted setting this up when from my point of view the government gateway was completely addequate.

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  11. A Kane

    So disorganised can not get on to cap experiangov. Will not let me log in farmers are not computer experts they do not sit at a computer all day as animals and land to look after do not do things themselves gateway was so much easier as people new what they were doing this is causing more stress for everyone nobody knows what they are doing I don,t

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hello A Kane, thanks for commenting - I don't know whether you've received an invitation to try the new CAP service yet? If not, you won't be able to access it yet as they're making it available to people gradually at the moment. If so and you're having problems using the service I'd recommend making contact through the help channels given in your CAP registration pack.

      Link to this comment
  12. L.Harper

    Please can you advise when Verizon will be avaiable for verify as well as Experian?
    Thanks

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi, thanks for your question. We've not announced dates for the remaining certified companies yet, but I can say that the next certified company will be joining the public beta soon and we'll be announcing details here on the blog.

      Link to this comment
  13. Rob Hamilton

    As to some of your previous comments,We farmers have more productive things to do for the benefit of our crops,animals and the country than go through a verification process that has not yet been shown to operational as yet nor indeed can it be shown to be secure.
    Our previous farming activities have been documented andexamined in fine detail over at least the last ten years so when the BPS is introduced for next year why can we not just roll that information forward?
    Defra has all the information it requires about us probably including our inside leg measurement why do we need another layer of bureaucracy?

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      New digital services which allow you to complete complex transactions online need a higher level of security, to protect you against other people fraudulently accessing your records and services.

      To use the new CAP service, you'll need to confirm your identity. You'll be able to choose the method that's most convenient for you to do that. You can use GOV.UK Verify if you've got a passport or driving licence and some financial activity in your own name (for example by holding a credit card, loan or mortgage). Otherwise, you'll be able to get help confirming your identity over the phone - you'll be given details of this when you're sent information about the new service.

      The main benefit of GOV.UK Verify is that it can be completed entirely online at your own convenience. If you use GOV.UK Verify to access the CAP service, it will take about 10 minutes and you'll be able to do it at your own convenience, entirely online. Once you've done that, you will soon be able to use GOV.UK Verify to access a range of other services (see https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/29/the-next-6-months-services-that-plan-to-start-using-gov-uk-verify/ for some of the first few services that are expected to start allowing you do use GOV.UK Verify. More will follow between now and 2016.).

      To assure you about the security of GOV.UK Verify - the service has been accredited by the pan-government accreditor as being safe and secure for public use in public beta. Certified companies have to comply with industry good practice and standards, and with government standards and contractual requirements.

      Link to this comment
  14. G Lynch

    Your announcement above states "‘public beta’ means we’re ready to start allowing government services to use GOV.UK Verify without having to issue special invitations. The first service will start doing that shortly and we’ll let you know here when that happens."

    Has this happened yet and if so what services are now available in this way?

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hello and thanks for your comment. Not yet, no - the services we're working with are still inviting people individually at the moment, but we are expecting to be announcing news about them opening up their services to wider groups very soon.

      Link to this comment
  15. Shaun Tetley

    I have heard today that we will use gov.co.uk where a taxpayer wants to claim the married persons transferable tax allowance from 6/4/15. Can you explain how this works in practice and what steps need to be taken to register with the 'verify' service? What personal detail is required? If you already have registered with HMRC and have a UTR is this not sufficient? When can claimants carry out whatever the process is to claim the transferable tax allowance? A simple step by step guide please? Thanks.

    Link to this comment
  16. Esther Proctor

    The old Gov Gateway cost a few pence per transaction. Yours costs several £'s - care to comment?

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Esther, thanks for your question.

      It's important to note that Government Gateway performs different functions compared to GOV.UK Verify. Government Gateway provides a login and enrolment service which includes sending items in the post. GOV.UK Verify will verify your identity entirely digitally, to a higher level of assurance than is provided by Government Gateway (level of assurance 2, under the published government standards). This is needed for new and transformed digital services which allow people to do more sophisticated transactions and access more sensitive data than was possible through digital services previously.

      Once someone has verified their identity using GOV.UK Verify, they will be able to access an increasing range of services. We pay the certified company for verifying someone's identity, so the more transactions each person can access using GOV.UK Verify, the more frequently, then the lower the cost per transaction.

      We will start publishing cost per transaction information on the GOV.UK Performance Platform in due course.

      You might also be interested in this National Audit Office report (http://www.nao.org.uk/report/identity-assurance-programme/) which includes some commentary on the funding model and potential savings for GOV.UK Verify.

      Link to this comment
  17. H. Brunt

    What if the applicant has no passport or photocard driving licence?

    Link to this comment
  18. Andy

    A personal point of view aimed at contributing to the discussion. I agree that GOV.UK Verify and Government Gateway are different and should not be confused. Government Gateway carries out both roles - "identity assurance" (which it does once to create a trusted digital identity for the citizen or other legal entity such as a company, and could do totally digitally using GOV.UK Verify) and "identity provider" (it provides an assured user identity to other services). In future this "identity provider" function will be provided by commercial companies which will individually hold trusted digital identities for us as citizens, and which will use GOV.UK Verify as a service in its identity assurance role to assure those identities. A more complex approach, but it does offset privacy concerns about the single identity database. As such Government Gateway and GOV.UK Verify are working on a similar approach, but GOV.UK Verify clearly separates the government operated "identity assurance" role from the commercially operated "identity provider" role.

    A couple of other comments. Government Gateway has, over the many years it has been quietly and reliably in operation, reduced digital government identity assurance costs by assuring users once to create a trustworthy digital identity, and then relying on that digital identity many times over for trusted access to services from central government, local government, non-government agencies and commercial organisations.

    Secondly, the level of identity assurance provided by the Government Gateway as an identity provider could be increased as far as needed by using additional factors of authentication. The level of identity assurance provided by commercial organisations will of course depend on the strength of the certification mechanism.

    Link to this comment
  19. Andys

    What if I possess a out of date passport and a non photo driving licence

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Andy

      At the moment you need a valid passport or a photocard version of the driving licence.

      We will be increasing the range of official records that certified companies can validate users’ data against, so that those without a driver licence or passport will still be able to verify their identity.

      See this blogpost which explains how we are going to expand the range of data sources that’s used by certified companies: https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/12/01/data-sources/

      Link to this comment
  20. Jacobo

    What if I possess a non uk passport? Can I go to the branh to verify my identity (postoffice)? At the begining you just put that you need or a uk passport or a photocard driving licence, but the postoffice is asking me both.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Jacobo,

      At the moment, none of the certified companies are able to verify a non UK passport.

      If you are having difficulty verifying your identity then, in the first instance, you should contact the help desk for the certified company you have selected to see if they can help.

      If your chosen certified company is still not able to verify your identity, you can choose another company. You can register with as many certified companies as you want on GOV.UK Verify and, equally, you can close your account with one if you want to.

      As part of the GOV.UK Verify process, you will be asked a series of questions about what proof of identity you have to hand. Responding to these questions should help you choose a certified company that is likely to be able to verify you, based on your answers to the questions.

      Link to this comment
  21. G. Stone

    My Wife does not have a passport or Driving licence. She is in receipt of the State Pension so why cannot the NI number and other details held by this department be used as verification? Any tax allowance transfer would also need my tax details including addresses....we are married AND live together!

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Gerry, thank you for your comment.

      GOV.UK Verify is a new service that will allow people to verify their identity entirely digitally and use that to access an increasing range of services. GOV.UK Verify is in beta, 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 - we’re working to make it possible for people to use other evidence instead of passports and driving licences. (There are other posts on the blog that explain what we’re doing about this, if you’re interested to read more see: https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/tag/improvement/).

      Anyone who doesn’t have those documents, or for some other reason can’t be verified using GOV.UK Verify at this stage, can contact HMRC by phone and an advisor will be able to take you through the process that way instead.

      Link to this comment
  22. Roy Coley

    Tried to verify for transfer of personal allowance to wife - all three services couldn't verify me but none asked for my passport details or driving licence details before saying so. As I have lived at the same address for 30 years and been on the Electoral Roll at that address for the same length of time I am amazed. Whats going on as its appears all three services have stored the details I gave them they sent me emails to tell me so? I would normally have no wish to give any of these companies personal details and certainly wouldn't want them stored if they cant use them to verify me.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Thank you for your comment.

      I'm sorry to hear that GOV.UK Verify was not able to verify your identity at this stage. GOV.UK Verify is a new service which is still in beta - that means we are still developing and expanding the service to allow more people to be able to use it. Thank you for feeding back your experience of using the service - we use all the feedback we receive to help continue to develop and improve the service.

      You can request that each company removes your account and any data associated with it. You can do that by contacting their support services:

      Experian
      e-mail: identityservicesupport@experian.com
      Tel: 0344 481 8192

      Digidentity
      e-mail: helpdesk@digidentity.co.uk
      Tel: 0330 60 60 732

      The Post Office
      e-mail: myprofilehelpdesk@postoffice.co.uk
      Tel: 0330 60 60 733

      Link to this comment
  23. SM Wiliams

    It is incorrect to say that you need a valid passport or a photocard version of the driving licence.

    As I don't have a photocard driving licence I continued with the verify process, realising from the site that only the one or the other is required. I was offered only one certified company as an option to verify me with one document. They then unexpectedly demanded that I input data not only from my valid passport but also with data from my non-existent photocard driving licence. I could go no further.

    What a frustrating waste of time.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Thank-you for your comment.

      I'm sorry that you've had a frustrating experience. There are times when users can be verified on one document, however the certified company will not know if they need to ask for another until all the details have been entered. GOV.UK Verify is a new service that is in beta, 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 but we are working to make it possible for people to use other evidence instead of passports and driving licences. (There are other posts on the blog that explain what we’re doing about this, if you’re interested to read more see: https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/tag/improvement/).

      Anyone who can’t be verified online using GOV.UK Verify at this stage, can contact the relevant department (for example, HMRC) directly.

      Link to this comment
    • K Rodwell

      Totally agree with SM Wiliams. Had exactly the same experience. The most annoying aspect was to be initially told that a passport OR photocard license was required, then (after much typing) to find it was a passport AND photocard license.

      Link to this comment
      • Janet Hughes

        Hello, thanks for your comment and I'm sorry you had an unsatisfactory experience. If you'd like us to investigate this for you then please let us know and we will ask them to get in touch directly.

        The certified companies have to validate a range of evidence to establish that it's really you - no single piece of evidence is sufficient. That's to protect against someone having stolen a document and being able to use it to pretend to be you. Sometimes it's possible for a certified company to verify your identity using either your passport or your driving licence. They can only do that if they can also validate some other evidence to a sufficient level of confidence like a loan, mortgage or bank account. If for some reason they are not able to do that, then they may have to ask you for both documents instead.

        Over time we plan for the range of evidence you can use, and the range of methods companies can use to validate it, to increase, so you won't need both of these documents. We've explained some of this in other posts on the blog and will carry on posting updates.

        Link to this comment
        • K Rodwell

          Yes, I would like you to investigate this / ask the certified company to get in touch with me please.

          Link to this comment
          • Rebecca Hales

            Our user support team will be in touch with you shortly.

            Link to this comment
  24. Terry Hall

    You have stated many times that verification can be achieved over the phone. There has been no indication of the cost of this.

    Link to this comment
  25. Anna Mary Slane

    My passport has expired, I do not have a photo driving license, credit card or a mortgage. How can I sign up for verify?

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Anna

      Thank-you for getting in touch.

      GOV.UK Verify is in beta, which means it’s being constantly improved and developed. At the moment you can only use GOV.UK Verify if you have a valid UK passport or photocard driving licence, but we’re working to add more ways for people to prove their identity if they don’t have a UK passport, driving licence or credit history. We’re aiming for 90% of people to be able to use GOV.UK Verify by April 2016 - we’ve published some information about that elsewhere on our blog and will be publishing updates as we progress through the next year.

      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.

      Link to this comment
      • Thomas Brown

        Thanks Rebecca. This is good.

        The funny thing is that I think that we're saying that the services which rely on GOV.UK Verify are being passed 'a guarantee' that 'you are you' and your key information is part of that 'guarantee data package'. So, although there's been a stack of data involved in original verification, once you've been verified, each service just calls for the key data it requires, because, after logging-in, it is a 'well trusted fact' that 'you are you', so you can be matched in the destination service by more meagre data. And this is great; for a start its a very secure way of working.

        The really funny thing is, if this is true, it means that only that key data set is ever really required in those destination services - just like it always has been on paper in the past - so you would've put your name, date of birth, NI Number and address on your DWP claim form in 1987 and somebody would've used that detail to match your claim to your computer identity and then pay you some money. Its basically just the same now. So, if that information is trusted and its only the 'transaction style' that's changed here (from pen and paper to Internet), then we could cut-out the Verify process by simply setting-up a digital account for everyone in the UK, in each Department, and then sending each citizen a letter with their account details on it! It works for the banks!

        Why are we not doing this (instead / aswell)?

        Thanks for your time.

        Link to this comment
        • Rebecca Hales

          Thanks Thomas - you're right that there are many different ways to achieve the outcome we're looking for, which is to be able to trust that the person using a service is who they say they are and not someone who is using a fraudulent or stolen identity to access services.

          When people use digital services, it's important to be able to trust that it's really them and not someone fraudulently using their identity to access services. The risks for digital services are different to those for paper services, so there are specific published standards for digital services and how risks should be assessed and mitigated - see Good Practice Guide 43 - Requirements for Secure Delivery of Online Public Services - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/requirements-for-secure-delivery-of-online-public-services). GPG 43 sets out levels of identity assurance, and GOV.UK Verify is a way to achieve level of assurance 2 entirely digitally. The GOV.UK Verify certified companies have to continue to verify that it's really you, at the same level of confidence as when they initially verified your identity. The standards for doing this are set out in Good Practice Guide 45 - Identity Proofing and Verification of an Individual - see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/identity-proofing-and-verification-of-an-individual.

          However, GOV.UK Verify has been designed to meet a number of other objectives as well as this overall objective of enabling trusted digital transactions.

          Firstly, we have built GOV.UK Verify to meet the identity assurance principles developed for us by our Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group. These principles are designed to protect people's privacy and put them in control of their data. Secondly, we are aiming to create a new market of identity assurance services that can meet identity assurance needs in the wider public and private sectors, rather than building a solution that meets the need for identity assurance only for central government services. Thirdly, we're building a way for people to access all central government services, rather than each department or service separately building and managing its own way to establish trust in digital transactions. This cross-government approach is designed to be better value, more secure and more convenient for users - people will only have to prove their identity once, and then they can use their log-in credentials to access an increasing range of services.

          Link to this comment
  26. Diana Cox

    I tried to verify my identity as part of registering for the new Marriage allowance. Having got most of the way through the process with my chosen certified company I was unable to go any further because I do not have a driving licence, although I do have a valid passport. It seems this certified company requires both a passport and a driving licence when all the information suggests that the requirement is for one or the other. How should I proceed please?

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      I'm sorry GOV.UK Verify was unable to verify you at this stage, Diana.

      The certified companies have to validate a range of evidence to establish that it's really you. That's to protect against someone having stolen a document and being able to use it to pretend to be you. Sometimes it's possible for a certified company to verify your identity using either your passport or your driving licence. They can only do that if they can also validate some other evidence to a sufficient level of confidence like a loan, mortgage or bank account. If for some reason they are not able to do that, then they may have to ask you for both documents instead.

      GOV.UK Verify is in beta, which means it’s being constantly improved and developed and we’re working to add more ways for people to prove their identity if they don’t have a UK passport, driving licence or credit history. We’re aiming for 90% of people to be able to use GOV.UK Verify by April 2016 - we’ve published some information about that elsewhere on our blog and will be publishing updates as we progress.

      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.

      Link to this comment
  27. Mrs. R

    Since one of the companies has issues on their website can I apply to be verified with one of the others (i.e. have two companies for verification)?

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi, thank you for your comment.

      You can change your chosen certified companies at any time, but you’ll have to go through the registration process again. If you wish, you can register with as many different certified companies as you like.

      Link to this comment
  28. DRW

    Same problem as others, it asked for a driving licence OR passport. I left the passport bit blank and filled in the driving licence details, to then be told I needed my passport details, I don't have a passport so nothing to input.

    This would be a good service when its fully working as tax office isn't the easiest place to get a hold of, especially if you cannot call due to work, but it needs to be expanded so more people can be verified and actually use it.

    Link to this comment
  29. mary hardaker

    there is a lot of talk about what you need and so forth but how exactly do you start the application?

    Link to this comment
  30. jamie

    i am trying to register using GOV.UK Verify, and it will not accept my passport expiry date, even though it is right. it has in fact expired, in the year 2014.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Jamie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Certified companies use information from different identity documents to verify you. These include photocard driving licences from Great Britain, UK and international passports, credit cards and debit cards. However, you cannot use documents that are out of date.

      If you return to GOV.UK Verify and select only the valid documents you hold from the list, you will be shown the certified companies that may be able to verify you.

      Link to this comment
  31. P Coyne

    Despite having all my bank statements, providing details of my driving license, current account, debit card, credit card and lifestyle questions I was not able to sign up using Experian. None of the other services were available because I don't have a passport.

    It seems that unless you have a valid passport there's no point trying to sign up to the service. It's a great idea but really does need to be looked at, not everyone has a passport and supplying all of that information should have been enough to get my identity verified.

    Link to this comment
    • Janet Hughes

      Hi,

      Thank you for commenting, and I'm sorry we weren't able to meet your needs at this time.

      GOV.UK Verify is in beta and being tested and developed in response to feedback from users. As part of that work the certified companies are making it possible for people to use a wider range of combinations of different types of identity evidence. We've posted recently about the work we've done so far on this (https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2015/10/20/making-gov-uk-verify-available-to-more-people/). Building on that work, we're working to make it possible to verify your identity without a passport or driving licence, and we expect to be able to report progress on this soon (before the end of this year).

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Janet

      Link to this comment
  32. John Wilsher

    I am a UK citizen, currently in China.

    I do not have a UK address after divorcing some time ago.

    I have a valid British Passport, but do not have a photo driving licence, only the old paper licence.

    As I am taxed on my UK pensions, can I use GOV.UK Verify to enable me to do my tax returns online.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi John, thanks for your comment.

      It's great that you'd like to try GOV.UK Verify to do your tax returns online.

      GOV.UK Verify is currently in beta, meaning it doesn't work for everyone yet but work is ongoing to improve and expand the service based on user feedback.

      At this stage, we are unable to verify people with only overseas addresses as the relevant databases are not available for the certified companies to check against for the certified companies to check against.

      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. You can visit the online service (https://www.gov.uk/log-in-file-self-assessment-tax-return) and follow the guidance on the other ways that exist for you to access it.

      You may wish to note that not all the certified companies require a photo card driving licence; two of the companies are now able to verify identities without any reference to a driving licence. This on it's own would not preclude you from using GOV.UK Verify.

      Link to this comment
  33. Steve Charlton

    I tried to access the 'Get a State Pension Forecast' site today to find that you have to be verified via GOV.UK Verify and have a) A Photo Licence b) A Passport (UK) - My passport expired a few years ago (2012'ish) and have never had a Photo Licence (I have the old type licence) and therefore could not proceed. I was and still am registered under the Government Gateway for a State Pension forecast e-service so have been verified at that stage yet I cannot get access to this new service because of not having those two documents. I accessed the Gateway today to find that the Pension e-service has been removed - Why can't my old verified access just be updated now the new system is in place?

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Steve, thank-you for your comment.

      The 'Check my State Pension' service is a brand new service that allows you find out how much pension you may receive once your reach State Pension age; see the earliest date they you get it; and view options for improving your State Pension.Citizens have never before been able to do this in one place online. As this service allows you to do more, it requires a higher level of identity assurance to make sure only you have access to your records. GOV.UK Verify is more secure and that's why it's being used for this service.

      I'm sorry that we were unable to verify you at this stage. GOV.UK Verify is in public beta (trial) and we're not able to verify everyone yet. However, we're working to improve the service. In fact, before GOV.UK Verify goes live in April, our certified companies will introduce new methods expand the range of evidence you can use to verify. It will soon be possible for you to verify your identity through GOV.UK Verify without a passport or driving licence at all, if you have a payment card and bank account.

      Link to this comment
  34. Miss Aneta

    I tried to use "Check my State Pension". I was unable to verify my identity. The service asked about UK passport details but I am not a British citizen. I am EU citizen and I live and work in UK. I have also UK driving licence. I think this is a issue and the verification process should be improved.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Thank you for your comment, Aneta.

      Thank you for trying GOV.UK Verify - it's a new service and is being constantly developed and improved. GOV.UK Verify may still be able to verify you. If you return to GOV.UK Verify, you will be asked what identification documents you have and will be offered the option of certified companies that may be able to verify you with a non-UK passport.

      We're looking at further ways of extending GOV.UK Verify to accept international passports​ and are working to improve our service and that of our certified companies, so your feedback is valuable to us.

      Link to this comment
  35. EMA

    Experian site says it can't process my verification without passport or driving licence when go through their verification site although they were chosen because I do not own either of these. I am a uk citizen.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      I am very sorry that you've had a frustrating experience.

      There are times when users can be verified without a passport or driving licence, however the certified company will not know if they need to ask for additional information until all the details have been entered.

      GOV.UK Verify is a new service that is in beta, 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 but we are working to make it possible for people to use other evidence instead of passports and driving licences. Anyone who can’t be verified online using GOV.UK Verify at this stage, can contact the relevant department (for example, HMRC) directly.

      Link to this comment
  36. barry hill

    Hi , Can you confirm at what point a visiting EU citizen will be able to use this service and how it is planned to work ?

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Barry

      GOV.UK Verify can work for users without a UK Passport, including EU citizens.

      When you use GOV.UK Verify you are asked what identification documents you have and will be offered the option of certified companies that may be able to verify you with a non-UK passport.

      We're looking at further ways of extending GOV.UK Verify to accept international passports​ and will blog here about out progress.

      Link to this comment
  37. Tim Fountaine

    Hello,

    This new security is now stopping me access my account. I successfully logon with user id and password, then I get the access code to my phone and that works fine. But then the system is asking for the last 4 digits of my bank account, but it's saying my input is invalid. How can I resolve this ???? I've gone through the process of sending help emails etc., but only get generic responses that get me nowhere. How can I found out why the system won't accept my bank account number ???? I am trying to pay tax that I owe !!!!!

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Tim

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      From your comment, it sounds as if you may be using Government Gateway, rather than GOV.UK Verify?

      If so, HMRC is responsible for this service and you may wish to contact the department direct with your feedback. You can find the relevant form here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc

      Link to this comment
  38. susannah lloyd

    I have a passport and driving licence in my married name, all my bank accounts are in my maiden name - I use my maiden name at work but this means I cannot confirm my identity with any of the providers ! This is infuriating and sexist , and discriminates women who wish to keep their own name for professional reasons .

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Susannah,

      Thanks for your message. I'm sorry you've had a frustrating experience.

      Evidence submitted by a user has to reflect the name associated with the identity that they are trying to assert, otherwise it doesn't prove their identity. You can prove either a current or previous name as long as this is demonstrated by the identity evidence you have to hand. If you provide evidence for a different name, your chosen certified company will be unable to verify you and you will be required to provide different evidence.

      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.

      Link to this comment
  39. A.Conroy

    I am having a similar problem to that experienced by non UK passport holders and paper licence holders. My chosen certified company cannot verify me. Contacting the government department directly is possible but they only respond with generic emails. I am waiting over 2 days for a solution.

    What is the time frame for GOV.UK Verify to issue a new release that will accept international passports, old driving licence details and to accept people who do not have loans or rental contracts. I have been a registered user of the online Government Gateway system since 2005.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi there

      Thank-you for your comment. Sorry to hear your chosen certified company wasn't able to verify you.

      GOV.UK Verify can work for users with international passports and for those without the photocard driving licence. If you return to the service and, when asked, say that you have an identity document from another country you will be directed to the companies that may be able to Verify you. You can select an alternative certified company from that list.

      It's already possible to use GOV.UK Verify without answering questions about your credit history if you have a smartphone or tablet and a UK passport. You can - with 2 of the companies - use an app to scan your identity document and take a photograph of yourself, so the images can be compared. The certified companies built this capability for GOV.UK Verify, to give more options for users and make it more straightforward for more people to use GOV.UK Verify to access services.

      Certified companies are planning to introduce alternative ways to prove your identity over time and we'll update you via the blog as new solutions become available.

      Link to this comment
      • A.Conroy

        Thank you for your prompt reply . I was only given the option of using one company as I don't own a smart phone. The company cannot find anything on me via name and home address. It cannot process me. Its clear that the process will not support people who have no debts and who don't have the latest gadgets or tablets. Again Ive been able to use the hmrc site for almost 10 years without any trouble until now. Now Im locked out and cannot submit my tax return. Why I need to verify anything when Im giving to the government and not taking anything is beyond me. Support from HMRC is abysmal. I may now be left with the option of filling out a paper return.

        Link to this comment
        • Rebecca Hales

          Hello

          There are lots of reasons why a certified company may not be able to verify your identity. We are aware that lack of credit data can be an obstacle to verifying and as a result we are developing new ways of verifying identities to alleviate this issue.

          I note your comment that you do not have a smart phone. Users in this situation may still be able to use GOV.UK Verify. All certified companies use two-step verification. One of the certified companies offers the option to create your own PIN via a method called M-PIN, which appears on their webpage. Others allow you to receive a one time code via a landline telephone. If you return to the service, go back through GOV.UK Verify path and select 'no' when asked if you have a mobile phone, you should see the landline line, M-PIN option and be able to choose a certified company that offers that method.

          However, I believe this option may show as the certified company you have already tried and, for that reason, we may not be able to verify you. Please accept our sincere apologies that we were unable to verify you at this time. We're working hard to improve and expand GOV.UK Verify to work for more people first time.

          Regarding your issues with Government Gateway, this could be down to the new 2-step verification introduced by HMRC. I would recommend you contact HMRC Online Self Assessment helpline for assistance using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/self-assessment-online-services-helpdesk

          In order to submit your Self Assessment without incurring a penalty, you may wish to take the pragmatic approach of filling out a paper return.

          Link to this comment
  40. A pease

    I have been using online self assessment for years - fine with phone verification - now asking for passport verification - i have valid passport - i forensically input correct details - no, no no. The HMRC self assessment pages gives me no other option whatsoever - if you can't enter passport, no.
    I phone up HMRC. No. I must phone up HMRC online helpline. I phone them up - no - i must hit the help button on the website. I do this - i get standard email 'response' telling me to input my passport details correctly. I make complaint - they repeat their response telling me to input my details correctly.
    I have nowhere to go. The self assesment portal gives me no other options, Any ideas (not including 'are you sure you are entering your passport details correctly')?
    Jack

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Jack

      I'm sorry you're having problems with Government Gateway. HMRC are responsible for Government Gateway and you will need contact the department direct with for assistance. You can find the relevant form here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc

      Alternatively, you may wish to try accessing Self Assessment using GOV.UK Verify. If you return to the service and selects GOV.UK Verify (rather than Government Gateway) you will be asked what identification documents you have and will be offered the option of certified companies that may be able to verify you with a non-UK passport. Once verified - it takes about 10 minutes - you will have safe and secure access to Self Assessment.

      Link to this comment
  41. Lesley byrne

    My experience mirrors that of Jack. My passport is a UK passport. However, I am now locked out for 7 days.

    Your advice to contact HMRC is destined to failure, in that all HMRC do is say 'Computer says NO' then tell you that your ticket is closed and how about filling in a survey.

    There is clearly a problem, which I suspect is linked to a data entry problem comparing Say 'BYRNE' to 'BRYNE'

    Whilst I have no intention of paying a company to certify who I am so I can pay tax to the Government, I will give your suggested route a try and report back.

    Meanwhile, it would be good to know that the problems that are reported on this site are being collated and sent to HMRC Gateway.

    Please would you also let frustrated, would be online self assessors, know how to obtain PAPER forms to complete their tax returns

    Link to this comment
  42. Terry Lester

    I've been doing my self assessment online for many years and wanted to login to HMRC today as the 2nd payment is due end July. I came to the new layer of security which wanted to know about my passport which expired over 10 years ago. There is no way I can now access HMRC online without a passport - I tried Experian and CitizenSafe but they could not help. The self assessment helpline was no use - Just told me I needed a passport. It looks like I will have to ask for a paper tax return and submit it by post just like the good old days.

    Link to this comment
    • emilychng

      Hi Terry,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having difficulties with the service. Although 2 of our certified companies were unable to verify you, you may still be able to use GOV.UK Verify. In March 2016 one of the certified companies introduced a new method of verification meaning that if you have a bank account and credit card, you can now verify your identity without either a passport or driving licence.

      Please try going back back through the GOV.UK Verify path and select 'no' when asked if you have a driving licence or passport, you should be able to chose a certified company that may be able to verify you.

      If you do not have a bank account and credit card, we will not be able to verify you at this time. GOV.UK Verify is being constantly developed and improved based on user feedback. We’re continuing to work with certified companies and investigating alternative sources of data to overcome this problem.

      If we’re unable to verify you, there will continue to be other ways for you to access services and you can return to the service you wanted to use and follow the guidance on the other ways that exist for you to access it.

      Link to this comment
  43. Diana

    I completed a tax return on line last yearand wanted to login to HMRC today to complete the return for 2015=16. I came to the new layer of security which wanted to know about my passport. I do not have a passport, driving licence or credit card . There is no way I can now access HMRC online . It looks like I will have to ask for a paper tax return and submit it by post just like the good old days.

    Link to this comment
    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Diana,

      I am sorry to hear you've been having difficulties. You may still be able to use GOV.UK Verify to do your tax return. GOV.UK Verify uses certified companies to verify your identity, and one of these companies introduced a new method where you may be able to verify your identity without either a passport or driving licence.

      If you return to the service, you'd might like to go back and try the GOV.UK Verify path. If you do, select 'no' when asked if you have a driving licence or passport. You may then be able to choose a certified company to verify you in around 10 minutes.

      If this doesn't work either, then you will have to do your tax return via the SA100 form found here: https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-forms-and-helpsheets

      Link to this comment
  44. Jamie

    I am a non UK passport holder and I cant get through the Verification process. I have been trying for over a month now, have requested help via online web chat (HMRC) and also on the phone and keep being told its being reviewed. This is really frustrating that I cant see my own tax affairs. Why would HMRC want people to use online services and then request them to fill out paper forms because a system they are changing has faults. I don't hold a UK passport and many of my friends don't either. How do we do this. I have been an online member for years now and this is really frustrating.

    Link to this comment
    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Jamie

      I'm sorry to hear you've had a frustrating time. Have you been using Government Gateway or GOV.UK Verify? As you hold a non-UK passport, GOV.UK Verify may still be able to verify you with a non-UK passport if you have a UK address. If you return to GOV.UK Verify, you will be asked what identification documents you have and will be offered the option of certified companies that may be able to verify you with a non-UK passport.

      We're looking at further ways of extending GOV.UK Verify to accept international passports​ and you can​ see how ​we are progressing through our Identity Assurance blog.

      We are working to improve our service and that of our certified companies, so your feedback is valuable to us.

      Link to this comment
      • Adrian

        What if my passport has expired? I find it ridiculous that HMRC wants people to move with the times and use online accounts (which I prefer) and then hassle us for two step verification. I have tried all options that I can to get signed in to my account but to no avail. I used to be able to see my current tax position easily and quickly, now I can barely do anything on my online account.

        Link to this comment
        • Emily Ch'ng

          GOV.UK Verify is an alternative method of logging in to your HMRC account through Government Gateway.

          Government Gateway does not verify an individual to the required level of assurance for modern digital by default services, and users can’t register entirely online - it relies on codes and other documents being sent through the post. Therefore, Government Gateway for individuals is gradually being replaced across online government services. In the meantime, HMRC have hardened Government Gateway with 2-step verification. However, if this does not work for you then you'd might like to try using GOV.UK Verify to access the service you need.

          If your passport has expired, then you may still be able to use GOV.UK Verify if you have a driving licence. If you do not hold both a UK passport or a valid driving licence, then you may still be able to verify if you have a bank account and credit card. GOV.UK Verify is being expanded and improved based on user testing and feedback. Currently the team's main priority - and that of the certified companies - is to increase the number of people who complete the journey they’re trying to do.

          Link to this comment
  45. Adrian

    I am having difficulty accessing my own tax affairs. It is highly frustrating. This two step verification leads me on a merry dance. I have done the 'help' links online, I have rang helplines and done all that is requested by HMRC staff but I just keep being asked the same stupid questions and told the same silly responses. If I am online it tells me to ring a helpline who in turn tell me to go online and report my problems. Neither can tell me a solution. I cant get verified and have tried every way I can to do so.

    Link to this comment
    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Adrian,

      I'm sorry to hear you've been having troubles with the two-step verification. Have you tried using GOV.UK Verify to access the service? GOV.UK Verify is the new way to prove who you are online so you can access digital services securely and safely and at your convenience and without having to use postal or face-to-face services.

      You'd might like to go back to the service and choose to access it through the GOV.UK Verify path. When accessing the service you need for the first time through GOV.UK Verify, you’ll be asked to use a certified company to verify your identity. Once you’ve completed this process, it’s fast and simple to use the same certified company to verify your identity across HMRC, DVLA and other services.

      Link to this comment
      • Adrian

        Why cant Gov.uk just do what other websites do and accept our User ID and log ins that we have?
        Even some other security question. I don't want to start using some other certified company to access my own information.

        Link to this comment
        • Emily Ch'ng

          Hi Adrian,

          With GOV.UK Verify, you create one login with a certified company of your choice and then use that to interact with any department at any time. Once your account is set up, which takes approximately 10 minutes, it then takes less than a minute to verify your identity each time you need to use a GOV.UK service. There are currently 10 services available via GOV.UK Verify and more will join over time.

          In terms of your concern about using certified companies, they do not have access to your government data under the contract which is designed to protect privacy and minimise data transfer. The certified company can only ask the government to validate the data you give them with a yes/no answer.

          GOV.UK Verify uses certified companies because it protects people’s privacy as it means there is no single identity database. The certified company doesn’t know which service you are accessing, and government services don’t have access to the data you provide to prove your identity.

          Certified companies are also required to be certified against information assurance and identity assurance standards. Working with certified companies means government does not need to store everyone’s information in one place, and this means your information is safer.

          Link to this comment
          • Mackenzie

            I do not have any of these forms of ID,
            Photo ID - Passport, Driving License, or individuals that do not have their P60,
            It seems to me that you presume everyone drives and or has a Passport you have completely neglected the others out there that have no need for either of these forms of identification, So this system is seriously restricting, Making it a complete waste of time for some individuals to even bother working their way through,

            Link to this comment
          • Emily Ch'ng

            Hi there,

            Thanks for your comment and feedback.

            People without a passport or a driving licence may still be able to use GOV.UK Verify. In March 2016 one of the certified companies introduced a new method of verification meaning that if you have a bank account and credit card, you can now verify your identity without either a passport or driving licence.

            If you do not have a bank account and credit card, we will not be able to verify you at this time. GOV.UK Verify is being constantly developed and improved based on user feedback. We’re continuing to work with certified companies and investigating alternative sources of data to overcome this problem.

            Link to this comment
  46. Mackenzie

    Emily Ch'ng,
    Thank you for your response, PLease could you let me know who the GOV.UK verifier is that only needs these details as I really don't want to be wasting time trying them all to find the one that uses this simpler method,

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Mackenzie,

      When you use GOV.UK Verify you will be asked a series of questions to help to direct you towards the certified companies that may be able to verify your identity.

      You do not need to go through manually trying all of the companies who may be able to verify you. Simply indicate ‘no’ in your answers when you are asked if you have a passport or driving licence. Once you’ve finished answering the series of questions, you'll be provided with a choice of certified companies who are most likely to be able to verify you based on your answers.

      To help you decide which company you want to use, there are links with more information about each company.

      I hope that helps.

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  47. Irritated taxpayer

    Unfortunately the last statement is not true. If you say you haven't got your passport then that is it. You cannot proceed. Also the statements abut having a choice of verifier are not true. I have only just realised that all my data is being sent all over the place by commercial firms. There is a lot of repetition about how these firms are required to do x, y and z but no mention of who checks them and holds them to account. So who guards the guardians then?

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi

      I'm sorry if you've been having difficulties with using GOV.UK Verify.

      You may still be able to use GOV.UK Verify without a passport. One of the certified companies introduced a new method of verification meaning that if you have a bank account and a credit or debit card, you can now verify your identity without either a passport or driving licence.

      If you return to the service, go back through the GOV.UK Verify path and select 'no' when asked if you have a driving licence or passport, you should be able to choose a certified company that may be able to verify you. If you choose that company, you will be provided with a list of requirements needed for them to verify you and you should be able to proceed from there.

      We take the security and privacy of our users very seriously. GOV.UK Verify was designed in close conjunction with CESG (The National Technical Authority for Information Assurance) and the Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group. The whole process, starting from the government department the user wishes to transact with, through choosing a certified company to verify with and then being passed back to the government department is conducted over a secure channel.

      The user asserted information of name, date of birth, address and gender is used to find the relevant credit reference file which is then used by the certified company the user has chosen, to create questions the answer to which only that user is likely to know. The user is not generally providing information. Instead, they are confirming the information the certified company has is or is not correct. The only time a user is asked to provide information is if they have chosen to use a certified company that allows them to prove who they are by providing their credit or debit card details to authorise a non-value transaction from their account via a secure payments service.

      You will find further information on how we enable secure delivery on government digital services at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/identity-assurance-enabling-trusted-transactions.

      You can also read more about how we protect your privacy on our blog at https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/11/05/tech-arch-privacy/. This shows the data you enter, where we process it, what data is stored, and by whom.

      Lastly, the Cabinet Office manages the commercial relationships with the certified companies and with wider industry. This is so that we can aggregate demand and establish contracts on behalf of the whole of government, which is more efficient and less expensive.

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  48. Liz G

    Hi, I tried to sign-up using this, but it told me that I may have taken out a loan between x and x. I NEVER taken out any loans at all, other than my student loan (which is not listed as an option), so I have no idea what this is about. I was therefore unable to complete the registration and update my address.

    Please explain what this loan nonsense is about, as I'm now very worried that my details have been used by someone else to take out a loan, which I no nothing about.

    Link to this comment
    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi there,

      Thank you for trying to use GOV.UK Verify and I'm sorry for the issues you're experiencing.

      After you have chosen the certified company you wish to verify your identity with, they will perform some checks to ensure that no one is pretending to be you. They may ask a selection of questions that only you know the answer to, or they may ask you for other evidence to prove you are who you say you are.

      Certified companies ask you questions based on the information contained in your credit file or other publicly available sources. If this information is incorrect, you may wish obtain a copy of your credit file to check for any errors. You can do this by contacting an online credit reference agency.

      You'd might also like to contact the certified company you tried to verify with as they may be able to assist you further. Contact details for each of them are below:

      Barclays Tel: 0333 202 7479 (English) or 0333 202 7450 (Welsh)

      CitizenSafe e-mail support@citizensafe.co.uk
      Tel: 0333 566 8000

      Digidentity e-mail helpdesk@digidentity.co.uk
      Tel: 0330 60 60 732

      Experian e-mail identityservicehelp@experian.com
      Tel: 0344 481 8192

      Post Office e-mail: myprofilehelpdesk@postoffice.co.uk
      Tel: 0330 60 60 733

      Royal Mail e-mail: identityverification@your.royalmail.com
      Tel: 0345 266 0116

      SecureIdentity e-mail help@secureidentity.co.uk
      Tel :03300 240181 (English)
      03300 240185 (Welsh)

      Link to this comment
  49. David

    I'm trying to view my current tax code to make sure its right and it asks me for verification from a passport or p60 and I have neither, how do I make sure my tax code is right.

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  50. Louise Johns

    Hi, I have 2 Indian passports to check the validity of as part of my job, what is the best way to do this?
    Many thanks
    Louise Johns

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  51. Doris Leatt

    I have been unable to verify myself with GOV.UK Verify. I have tried three times. I suspect the reason is because I have no passport, no driving licences, and no credit record. This is because I am 96. At none of the attempts has the service seemed to have offered an alternative way of verifying. Can you suggest a solution.

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Dear Doris,

      I'm so sorry that you’ve had difficulty using GOV.UK Verify. We are aware that lack of credit data can be an obstacle to verifying and as a result we are developing new ways of verifying identities to alleviate this issue.

      Please accept our apologies that we were unable to verify you at this time. We are constantly updating and improving GOV.UK Verify, so all feedback is valued.

      Nobody is excluded from a service if they can’t be verified by GOV.UK Verify. Other channels will be available for people who are not able to use digital services, including if they are not able to verify their identity entirely digitally.

      If you haven't already, then please do return to the webpage of the service you wanted to use and follow the guidance on the other ways that exist for you to access the service.

      Many thanks,

      Emily

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  52. Sue Hart

    I have registered with Government Gateway but I get to verify and it keeps saying it cannot find me. I put in that I do not have a british passport as mine has run out and this is the comment I get. It seems a rubbish system to me if it cannot even recognise me. What do I do all I wanted was a pension forecast online, now I have to wait 10 days after an expensive phone call.

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Sue,

      I'm sorry to hear you've found difficulties with Government Gateway. You can check your state pension with GOV.UK Verify through this webpage. Click on 'Start now' and then select 'sign in using GOV.UK Verify': https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

      GOV.UK Verify is a service which will enable you to complete digital transactions in a secure, fast and convenient manner. The service uses certified companies to verify your identity. GOV.UK Verify will replace Government Gateway for individuals across an increasing range of online services.

      Link to this comment
  53. Chris Spraggins

    Not impressed .Have spent hours in loops over last few months trying to get verified.Have registered but I cannot get verification because I do not hold a current passport , my driving licence is old type with no photo , I do not possess a credit card only debit card.
    Needs more development.

    Link to this comment
    • Emily Ch'ng

      I’m sorry you weren't able to use Verify. There are lots of reasons why a certified company may not be able to verify your identity and we do appreciate how frustrating that can be for people we’re unable to verify.

      Verify is constantly being developed and improved based on feedback from people who use it. We’re not able to verify everyone yet but we’re working to constantly expand and improve the service. Verifying someone's identity without talking to them or sending things in the post is a complex process and it will take us some time to make it work for everyone.

      There are always other ways to access services so if GOV.UK Verify doesn't work for you, please return to the service you were trying to use and follow one of the other available ways to access it.

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