Introducing GOV.UK Verify

22 February 2016

Guidance has now been published detailing what GOV.UK Verify is, how it works and how it allows you to access government services online.

GOV.UK Verify is the new way to prove who you are online, so you can use government services like viewing your driving licence or filing your tax. It is being built by Government Digital Service (GDS), working with government departments, the private sector and the Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group.

When you’re using digital services, you need to be sure that your privacy is being protected and your data is secure. Government departments providing services online need to know it’s you (not someone pretending to be you), and to ensure your information is safe.

GOV.UK Verify uses certified companies to check it’s you. Verifying your identity takes around 10 minutes, online. After that it takes less than a minute to verify your identity each time you need to use a GOV.UK service.

The certified company you choose performs some checks before verifying your identity to GOV.UK, such as questions only you know the answer to. You may also be asked to enter a code you receive on your mobile phone, landline or via an app.

Your identity is verified by a certified company each time you want to use a service. You choose the certified company (you can choose as many as you like, and you can change at any time). You don’t have an account with government.

This strictly limits the information any certified company or government has about you: no-one has more information than the minimum to perform their function, and there is no central storage of information.


GOV.UK Verify is in public beta. While GOV.UK Verify is in beta, it’s optional for users. GOV.UK Verify isn’t a service in its own right. Rather, it provides a way into government services on GOV.UK.

Currently it’s being tested with users and these departments and services:

User feedback will inform continuous improvements and further testing.

This year more companies will join the programme for certification, and more services and government departments will start to use GOV.UK Verify.

GOV.UK Verify will continue to engage with industry, public and private sectors through the Open Identity Exchange (OIX).

GOV.UK Verify has been built to meet 9 identity assurance principles designed to protect people’s privacy and put them in control of their data.