https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2015/06/16/how-gov-uk-verify-works-a-film/

How GOV.UK Verify works - a film

Here's a short film demonstrating how GOV.UK Verify works.

If you're interested to know more about how GOV.UK Verify works you can finds lots of information here on the blog.

Note: GOV.UK Verify went live in May 2016 and this blog post was updated with an updated demo film following that milestone

44 comments

  1. margaret hilton

    what happens when the company can't verify my identity?

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Margaret

      Thanks for your comment.

      I’m sorry your chosen certified company could not verify you.

      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. 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. Whilst we are in the trial period and still developing GOV.UK Verify, there are always other ways to access services so if GOV.UK Verify doesn't work for you.

      If you haven't done so already, please return to the service you were trying to access and use one of the other available ways to access it.

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      • Ian Smaller

        Why so complicated? HMRC takes tax from my pension without any problems. Is there any simpler way of applying for this tiny amount?

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        • Rebecca Hales

          Thanks for your feedback, Ian.

          Thank-you for your comment Mr Pegg.

          I’m sorry your chosen certified company could not verify your wife.

          GOV.UK Verify is in beta (trial), which means it is constantly being developed and improved based on feedback from people like you, who have tried the verification process. We’re not able to verify everyone yet using GOV.UK Verify but we are working to constantly the service and get better.

          Whilst we are in the trial period and still developing GOV.UK Verify, there are always other ways to access services if GOV.UK Verify doesn't work for you. If you haven't done so already, your should return to the service you were trying to access and use one of the other available ways to access it.

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  2. Nik

    What motivation does the certified company have to take part? Also what happens to the data relating to all my logins that these companies have verified.

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Nik

      Thanks for your questions.

      Certified companies are paid for each successful registration that is then asserted, through GOV.UK Verify, to a government service. They are then paid annually to maintain the account at the required level of assurance, so long as the user continues to use the account.

      When you use GOV.UK Verify, your chosen certified company verifies your identity once and then authenticates you each time you need to use a GOV.UK service. When you sign into your identity account, the certified company keeps a record of that activity for security purposes. 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.

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      • Nik

        I had asked in my original comment 'has the system been peer reviewed?'. This seems to have then been removed... Could you enlighten me both as to why it was removed and also whether the system has indeed been reviewed?

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        • Janet Hughes

          Nik I'm really sorry that's happened - I don't know how it happened, but we certainly wouldn't have done it on purpose (as I hope you can tell from the range of comments we publish and respond to on the blog).
          To operate as a pan-government service, GOV.UK Verify has to be accredited by the pan-government accreditor. This involves a range of requirements, including regular review and testing of the system. More recently we have also been working with George Danezis from UCL, and our Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group, to support their review of our technical architecture and our approach to security and privacy.
          I hope that gives you the information you're looking for, but let us know if that doesn't cover it.
          Thanks,
          Janet

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  3. Luke

    If identity theft were to occur and the certified company verified someone else as me and as a consequence I was to suffer loss or damage as a result, who would carry the liability, the Government, the certified company or me?

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Luke. We've designed the framework so that liability rests with whoever is responsible for the specific problem or issue. So, if the certified company has been negligent (for example by failing to put in place the required levels of security and protection for users' data and accounts), then they are liable. If the company has met all the required legal, operational and security standards, their liability is limited and government would be responsible. We've blogged elsewhere in more detail about the contractual framework - see the posts tagged with procurement (https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/tag/procurement/).

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  4. S. Hirst

    Why go to all this trouble? Government gateway worked absolutely fine for me why couldn't you just 'beef' that up instead of involving (and paying) third parties. The whole excercise feels like an attempt at identity theft and leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi

      GOV.UK Verify is for individuals and by April 2016 will be the default way for them to access digital government services. Government Gateway remains for business and agents.

      Although Government Gateway has worked fine for you and many others, it 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.

      GOV.UK Verify offers a service that is faster and more secure for users, suitable for new digital by default services and is re-usable across a range of services.

      Thank-you for your comment - as we're continuing to develop and improve GOV.UK Verify all feedback is valuable to us.

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  5. Jennifer Whitehead

    Are you considering linking this to local government for customers to use for the likes of Council Tax and Housing Benefit?

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  6. John Bayliss

    I'm not clear about what happens if I do not have a mobile phone. How do I get the appropriate security code if I cannot receive text messages?

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi John

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid you won't be able to proceed with the GOV.UK Verify trial at this time. All current certified companies use two-step verification via a mobile phone registered in the UK to the requesting user. We recognise that for some people this is an issue and are working towards a solution to get around this. We hope to have that in place later in the year.

      For some services, including tax credits and marriage allowance, we have very recently introduced alternatives. If you return to the service, go back through the GOV.UK Verify path and on the page where you choose a certified company, you should see a link for users who do not have a mobile phone.

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      • John Bayliss

        Thank you for the information. I have to say that find it incredible that there is a requirement for a mobile phone. I have recently digitally completed my tax return for 2014-15 and have renewed my car tax so hopefully I do not have a problem at the moment. However, I am very concerned that I might be faced with one unless there is a solution offered for those of us, and I suspect there are many, who do not have or need, a mobile phone. Are you able to give any indication of what the solution will be and when it might be available?

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        • Rebecca Hales

          Hi John

          We're not publishing specific details of what solutions each certified company is planning to introduce, but we can tell you that they are all working on adding new methods to allow people without mobile telephones to use GOV.UK Verify between now and when it goes live in April 2016.

          You can subscribe to this blog to receive updates on the work that's ongoing to improve and expand GOV.UK Verify. Just click the link beneath 'sign up for updates' at the top of this page.

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  7. BRENDA MASON

    How do I register if I do not have a passport or driving licence? Is it still possible online?

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Brenda

      I’m sorry but GOV.UK Verify won't be able to verify you at this time. GOV.UK Verify is a new service, currently in beta (trial) and is being constantly developed and improved based on user feedback. We do recognise that the lack of a passport or photocard driving licence is an issue for some users and we are currently working with new certified companies and investigating alternative sources of data to overcome this problem.

      In the meantime, there will always be other ways for you to access services on GOV.UK if we’re not able to verify your identity through GOV.UK Verify. If you haven't done so already, 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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  8. Nick Dillon

    I need to rent a hire car (frequently) and saw an email from one of the rental companies mentioning this new service. How can I get started with it ? I've watched the short video.. just show me the link please!

    Thanks

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Nick

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You can use GOV.UK Verify to access an increasing range of government services online. This includes DVLA's View or share your driving licence information. Here's a link to the start page for that service: https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

      You can select GOV.UK Verify on the 'other ways to apply' tab.

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  9. yoav

    Wonderful initiative!
    1. Does there any service, using UK Verify, for someone from other country,
    who doesn't have British citizenship?
    2. Supposed some user's basic information has been changed -
    could he shift from one certified company to another?
    Thanks

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Thanks for your comment.

      You can find a list of the services currently connected to GOV.UK Verify here:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introducing-govuk-verify/introducing-govuk-verify#status

      GOV.UK Verify itself is a new service, currently in beta (trial) and is being constantly developed and improved. It may still be able to verify you with an international passport. As part of the GOV.UK Verify process, you'll 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.

      If a user needs to change your address details, telephone number or any other personal information associated with their verified identity account they can do so by contacting the certified company direct. You can also change certified companies at any time, but you’ll have to go through the verification process again with the alternative company you've chosen.

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  10. James

    Is there anything in the pipeline for opening the verification capabilities to local government? A facility like this would be very useful for verifying the age eligibility for applicants applying for smart travel cards.

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi James, thanks for your comment.

      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 for local authorities after April 2016.

      See this post: https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/23/identity-assurance-for-local-authority-and-private-sector-services

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  11. Wendi

    HMRC have the two step verification, sending a 6 digit number to my mobile so that I can access my tax return - this doesn't seem to be done through these companies, and so I can't use it to access other government services. Are these going to be joined together at some point?

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    • Janet Hughes

      Hi Wendi, thanks for commenting.

      Yes - eventually GOV.UK Verify will be used for all the services that need to know your identity. You can already choose to use GOV.UK Verify to file your tax return, but at the moment that's an option alongside the existing way of signing in (through Government Gateway). That's because GOV.UK Verify is still in beta (which means it is still being tested and developed), so HMRC, like other departments, still has other methods in place. We're planning to take GOV.UK Verify from beta to live in April. From that point services will be able to phase out other methods that only work for one service or department.

      We post regularly about our progress in taking GOV.UK Verify from beta to live, and about the services planning to adopt GOV.UK Verify, so do subscribe to the blog if you're interested in following our progress.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Janet

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  12. Clive Christopherson

    Hi

    I verified my identity with my chosen certified company. I have a comment and a question.

    Comment: the process is not as straight forward as suggested. Although I have a driving licence it is not the passport type rather the older paper kind. Consequently I had to go the selfie route using my passport. It took about eight or nine attempts - all failures involved my iPad but the first attempt using an android mobile phone was successful. A possible software glitch re the iPad? The online chats with certified company support staff got me through the process and were very helpful both technically and in terms of morale!

    Question: How do I change my mobile number used for the two-stage ID process? I can't find a way into my account details. I'm in the process of changing my mobile number. The navigation for this seems opaque on both the certified company and HMRC web pages.

    Link to this comment
    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Clive

      Thank you for your comment.

      We're working hard to make GOV.UK Verify work for more people, including those without photocard driving licences. It's great to hear that you were able to use the 'selfie' option offered by your chosen certified company to verify your identity using different evidence. We'll pass on your feedback about the difference between iPad/Android performance to your chosen certified company as this may help improve the service for others.

      Regarding changing your user details, our user support team will be in touch with you shortly via email with the information you need.

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  13. Mr Derek Wilson

    How do I change my mobile number when logging in to to HMRC to enable ne to get the 6 digit security code.

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Derek

      If you are using GOV.UK Verify, you will need to contact your chosen certified company to update your details.

      If you are using HMRC's Government Gateway, you will need to contact HMRC direct here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc

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  14. Steve BT

    I tried logging in to provide a self assessment and I get a 2 step verification process, that sends me a 6 digit code. Once the code is entered I get a message saying a I can't be verified.

    I go to another PC, in the same office, and I can login without the 2 step verification????

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Steve

      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

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  15. Martyn

    You should use an Email for verification, rather than SMS.
    Email means you can pick the verification code up from a smartphone (if you have one and it has signal and is working), or you can get the code from a PC.
    This is how American Express does it, and it works beautifully.
    On the flip side, Vodafone ALWAYS requires an SMS to access the customer online portal, which is useless if you have no signal but still have access to a PC.
    Please enable the ability to use Email verification similar to American Express !

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Martyn

      Thanks for your feedback.

      All certified companies use two-step verification but there are already alternatives to SMS messages.

      For example, 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 will allow you to receive a one time code via a landline telephone. Alternatively, if you have a tablet, some certified companies have their own authentication app you can use to receive your one time code or you can install an app of you choice by searching ‘authenticator’ in the app store. Some do use email to receive a code to initially set up your account.

      We're grateful for your comments as GOV.UK Verify is being improved and expanded based on testing a user feedback. Our certified companies are regularly introducing new solutions and we'll update you on them via the blog.

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  16. jan

    It is very difficult to phone HMRC to re-set the verification phone when you change mobile phone number, their phone line is always busy.

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Jan

      I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble getting in touch with HMRC. If you go to this contact page and select the service you were trying to use, there may be other ways you can contact HMRC other than through a landline: https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc

      Best wishes,

      Emily

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  17. Merlyn Mitchell Cotts

    I do not have a British passport and am therefore unable to proceed with the verification for a refund to which I am entitled. As a result, I have to wait 45 days for HMRC to process the refund. Given that I had no problem paying taxes while holding a foreign passport, why am I unable to claim my refund online?

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi,

      Are you trying to access the HMRC service using Government Gateway or GOV.UK Verify? If it's Government Gateway, you'd might like to try using GOV.UK Verify - it only takes around 10 minutes to verify your identity to allow you to use government services.

      GOV.UK Verify is a new 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.

      If you are having issues with using Government Gateway, 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.

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  18. Angie

    The process to provide a verification code by text does not function. I had to choose my landline and provide my current passport details to validate. How is this info used to validate as it's no linked to my Gov account as far as I'm aware of does this process now link it? I won't necessarily be at home the next time I wish to access a service.

    Is there a list of the services that currently use this process - I was requesting a state pension summary on this occasion.

    Is this a one off verification or do I have to do this every time I want to use a specific service? I don't have to use this process for self assessment or to access my business dashboard to pay VAT or access other services.

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Angie

      I'm sorry to hear you've been having trouble with the SMS verification code. Not all phones, such as Windows phones, support this feature for
      GOV.UK Verify. Each of the certified companies are developing their own solutions and, currently, the two biggest mobile operating systems are supported. If your smartphone isn't supported, there is the option to receive codes to your landline.

      The reason why the process involves a verification code to be sent to you by SMS or landline is because it adds an extra layer of security whilst also allowing us to confirm that the number provided is yours.

      The verification code is a one-off so you won't need to be near your landline after the first time you register with GOV.UK Verify.

      You can see the list of government services currently connected to GOV.UK Verify on our homepage: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introducing-govuk-verify/introducing-govuk-verify

      Once you have a verified identity account with a certified company, you can use it to sign in to the range of services linked above. So, setting up your GOV.UK Verify account is also a one-off (unless you decide you want to register again with a different company). Once your account is set up, it takes less than a minute to verify your identity each time you need to use a GOV.UK service so you won't need to go through the verification process again.

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  19. Keith

    Hi I'm trying to do my tax return for 2015-16 from overseas through the HMRC self assessment portal, never had an issue before, second step said I'd need a mobile or landline to send me a code so haven't pressed it yet! Can I use an overseas mobile number? If not I'm just charging up my uk mobile (a pay as you go but I assumed registered to my name in uk) but assume I will have to put in 0044 or ++44 - do I/can I? What else please do I need to hand such as my British passport? Thank you

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