UK Verify: A new way to prove identity for using digital services

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UK government has its own identity assurance system called UK Verify. The system has been developed by UK Government Digital Service (GDS). The system shall provide single trusted login access for all UK government digital services. The online service can:

  •  Help protect services and users from identity fraud
  •  Replace face to face identity checks
  •  No need to send documents in post for need of services
  •  Replace physical signatures on legal documents

How Verify Works?

While one needs to have UK address to use UK verify, being a UK citizen is not a requirement. One needs to work with one of the identity providers to set up an account. These identity providers are required to meet government and industry standards to provide identity assurance services. Example identity providers are Barclays, Experian, Post Office et al.  

“UK Verify is a flagship digital programme to provide identity verification services for the whole of government.”

Account setup to use UK Verify


Account set up is a formal record verification and documentation process. Some of the salient features of account setup are listed below: 

  • Check details provided by users against records held by organizations such as credit agencies.
  • Gov.UK verify continually monitors for identity fraud
  • User data is protected to a high standard by:
    • Not storing data at one place
    • Government Service does not know which identity provider is chosen.
  • After the user has proved their identity, your service will be sent their name, address and date of birth. One will not see any of the other information they sent the identity provider to prove their identity.

Identity Security and Assurance


Gov.UK worked with National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) and the Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group in design a fraud proof Verify system. The Verify system is arguably a very secure system and :

  • Meets the highest anti-fraud standards
  • Protect users’ privacy
  • Meets EU rules & standards on privacy such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Comply with 9 identity assurance principles:
    • User Control: I can exercise control over identity assurance activities affecting me and these can only take place if I consent or approve them
    • Transparency: Identity assurance can only take place in ways I understand and when I am fully informed
    • Multiplicity: I can use and choose as many different identifiers or identity providers as I want to
    • Data Minimization: My interactions only use the minimum data necessary to meet my needs
    • Data Quality:I choose when to update my records
    • Service User Access and Portability:I have to be provided with copies of all of my data on request; I can move/remove my data whenever I want
    • Certification:I can have confidence in the Identity Assurance Service because all the participants have to be certified against common governance requirements
    • Dispute Resolution:If I have a dispute, I can go to an independent third party for a resolution
    • Exceptional Circumstances:I know that any exception has to be approved by Parliament and is subject to independent scrutiny

Additionally, Verify is support round the clock (24/7/365) by a dedicated technical time entrusted to maintain a service up-time of 99.9%. Gov.UK has a user base of more than 3 million and has been tested across services run by various government organizations.


There are however, some issues which is troubling the program and government is working towards addressing them.

Further Readings

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