As announced previously, the Government Gateway verification system which has been in place since 2001 is being phased out and replaced by GOV.UK Verify.
The new system is designed to cut down on the verification time for registering with HM Revenue and Customs, and other agencies across the government which use the Government Gateway platform. Instead of waiting for verification letters, the system verifies your identity online, using credit records or government issued identification, such as your passport.
The government isn’t going at it alone – there’s a number of ‘partner companies’ which are involved in verification of your identification, such as Experian, Royal Mail and Barclays.
The new system is seen to be safer as everything is electronic, and less reliant on documentation being verified by post. The companies involved check your records against those held on national records to ensure that your identity is verified. Checks do not impact credit scores.
A number of services already accept using GOV.UK Verify to register or to claim for certain benefits. These include:
A number of new services are also being developed, including electronic mortgage deeds (HM Land Registry) and the ability to have your driving licence information on your smartphone (using Apple Wallet / Google Wallet)
How to register
You should register as soon as possible. Although most checks take between 5-15 minutes online, the government recommends that you don’t rely on this last-minute, and therefore is best to register as soon as possible.
As part of the agreement to provide these services, there is user support provided by the certified companies involved