Introducing: GOV.UK Verify

GOV.UK Verify is the new way for you to prove who you are online, so you can use government services safely.

GOV.UK Verify is being designed and built by the Government Digital Service (GDS), working closely with government agencies and departments who provide services to the public, together with the private sector and privacy and consumer groups.

1. How it works

Instead of a single government database, certified companies verify your identity to GOV.UK.

Diagram showing how GOV.UK Verify works involving certified companies like Verizon and Experian

When you need to prove who you are in order to access a government service, you can choose who you’d like to verify you, from a list of certified companies.

The company performs some checks before verifying your identity to GOV.UK, such as questions only you know the answer to. You’ll also be asked to enter a code you receive on your mobile phone, by email, or through a call to your landline. This is known as 2-factor authentication.

Verifying your identity for the first time usually takes 10 minutes and is completely online.

Once you’ve verified your identity, it’s fast and simple to use the same company every time you need to access a government service online.

Working with certified companies means your information and transactions with government are safer, simpler and faster than any other method. This is because:

  • there’s no central storage of information so your personal data is more secure
  • it’s completely online
  • the company you choose can’t use or share your data without your permission

2. Services using GOV.UK Verify

GOV.UK Verify will support services from HMRC, DVLA and Defra this year in beta.

User feedback will inform continuous improvements and further testing.

More services will start to use GOV.UK Verify from 2015.

3. GOV.UK Verify: what happens next

GOV.UK Verify will continue to test and develop in public beta. From 2015 more companies will join the programme for certification, and more government services will start to use GOV.UK Verify. We’ll continue to engage with industry, public and private sectors through the Open Identity Exchange (OIX).

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