HM Land Registry have today, 4 May 2020 introduced temporary changes in relation to verifying a person’s identity and for signing deeds.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, identification verification can now be undertaken by people who work, or have worked, in certain professions including:
- retired conveyancers, chartered legal executives, solicitors and barristers
- bank officials and regulated financial advisers
- medical doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons
- chartered and certified accountants
- police officers and officers in the UK armed forces
- teachers and college and university teaching staff
- Members of Parliament and Welsh Assembly members
- UK civil servants of senior executive officer (SEO) grade or above
The verification can also be done by way of a video call.
The Land Registry will now accept deeds that have been signed using the ‘Mercury signing approach’; a signature page will need to be signed in pen and witnessed in person (not by a video call). The signature will then need to be captured, with a scanner or a camera, to produce a PDF, JPEG or other suitable copy of the signed signature page. Each party then sends a single email to their conveyancer with attaches the final agreed copy of the document and the copy of the signed signature page.