Gov.uk Verify, the online service taxpayers will need to use to prove their identity before accessing HMRC’s digital services and other government online services, is now live. The central government platform for online identity assurance has been under development for some time by the government digital service (GDS) and has been available in a beta version. It has now passed its service assessment.
It should take around ten minutes for an individual to verify their identity the first time they use gov.uk Verify, and a couple of minutes any time after that.
Individuals choose from a list of companies certified to verify their identity. That company may ask some questions, or perform other checks using photo identification and financial information before confirming this to the government department the individual is trying to use. There are currently eight companies offering this service: Barclays, CitizenSafe, Digidentiy, Experian, Post Office, Royal Mail, SecureIdentify, and Verizon.
- checking income tax for the current year;
- obtaining a pension statement;
- signing in to personal tax accounts;
- viewing or sharing driving licence information, with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA);
- applying for Universal Credit with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP);
- claiming for redundancy and monies owed, with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS);
- signing in and filing self-assessment tax returns;
- updating rural payments details, with the Department for Environmet, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra);
- helping friends or family with their tax (HMRC); and
- checking or updating company car tax.
Janet Hughes, programme director for Verify at GDS, said the move to live working would not be a ‘dramatic change’ but formed part of an ongoing gradual process of developing and scaling up the service. Gov.uk Verify will actually look exactly the same to users, apart from the removal of the beta label.
Further information on gov.uk Verify can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introducing-govuk-verify/introducing-govuk-verify.