Information for verification of a person's identity

From physical ID verification through to electronic verification

We are often asked by businesses about procedures to verify the identity of employees and customers, whether it is to comply with regulatory requirements or for business risk mitigation and prevention of fraud.  Here we provide further information on the process for verification of identity which can be considered as part of employment and customer identity screening within the UK.

As a starting point there are two clearly documented sources that prescribe how identity checks can, or should, be conducted, these are the UK Border Agency and the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG).

The advice from the UK Border Agency is to check not only the physical photo identity in the passport but to also check other supporting documentation, and asking questions to provide increased assurances, in particular:


  • Check the physical appearance against the photo identity
  • Cross check dates of birth in the photo identity document with other documentation provided
  • Satisfy yourself that the documents provided are genuine
  • Should any documentation identify a change of name, e.g. through marriage, seek evidence to support this, e.g. copy of marriage certificate


The guidance from JMLSG is more comprehensive.  As a starting point the individual must provide their full name, date of birth and residential address, and back these up with supporting documents.  The type of documents supporting the identity are also classified according to the degree of assurance they provide, for example government issued documents are generally considered a higher level of supporting evidence than non-government  issued documents.

An example of evidential documentation would be a copy of a valid passport and a further official document verifying the name and address, or name and date of birth. In all cases a consideration should be made as to whether the documents could be forged.

JMLSG also provide guidance on “electronic verifications” to be used.  The standard level of confirmation sought through electronic verifications is defined as:


  • One match on an individual’s full name and current address, and
  • A second match on an individual’s full name and either their current address or their date of birth


When checking an individual’s identity the starting point should always be a physical check of the supporting documents; for example a valid passport and official document for proof of address.  With this baseline established an electronic verification can then be conducted to confirm name, date of birth, and address from other sources.  Further evidence and assurances can be obtained by using the data returned from the electronic verification to question the individual and corroborate information found such as undisclosed addresses, credit searches, alias names (where found) and any associates.


The screening services provided by Credit Check Services support identity verification. The online reports for consumer screening, tenant screening (Gold or higher), and employment screening (standard financial background and ID check) all provide identity verifications in support of the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) guidelines. Report options can be accessed through the banners to the left, or for more information on financial background checks for employees, click here.


If you would like to know more about our services please call us on 01992 719 234 and we will be delighted to assist.