Home Legal News Federation of Law Societies mandates remote ID verification technology for lawyers by 2024 to combat fraud

Federation of Law Societies mandates remote ID verification technology for lawyers by 2024 to combat fraud

by HR Law Canada

In a move to enhance the security of legal transactions, the Federation of Law Societies has mandated that starting from January 31, 2024, lawyers must verify their clients’ identity using technology that can authenticate government-issued photo IDs when verification is not conducted in person.

This directive comes as a continuation of the temporary pandemic-related measure that permitted lawyers to verify identities through video calls, which will now be extended until the aforementioned date. After this point, legal professionals in Nova Scotia must either resume in-person ID checks or adopt technology that meets the Federation’s standards for remote authentication.

For cases involving financial transactions, lawyers are required to verify their client’s identity in one of three ways: by checking a government-issued photo ID, reviewing the client’s credit file, or employing the dual-process method, which involves verifying two separate documents or pieces of information from independent sources.

The preferred and most common method is through government-issued photo ID. It is imperative for the legal community to ensure that the person signing critical documents is indeed who they claim to be, to mitigate risks of money laundering and identity fraud.

For remote verification, legal practitioners or their agents are advised to utilize advanced authentication technology. This could involve the client scanning their ID using a mobile device, and the lawyer then employing technology to validate the document’s features, security elements, and markers. Furthermore, live video calls or facial recognition technology may be used to ensure that the document’s photo and name match the individual’s live appearance or a photograph they provide.

Lawyers are encouraged to conduct thorough due diligence when selecting a technology provider, considering this is a rapidly evolving field. While the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (NSBS) does not endorse specific technologies or service providers, resources like the Law Society of Alberta’s list of approved sandbox participants and the Directory of Identity Management and Proofing Products by DIACC can serve as valuable references.

As the legal profession navigates these changes, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s website and FAQs provide additional insights into virtual verification procedures.

Furthermore, the Federation has launched an online learning program focusing on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, aiming to equip lawyers with essential knowledge and best practices in these areas.

Additional information about virtual verification of identity is available on the Federation of Law Societies of Canada website and FAQs.

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