22 April 2015
GOV.UK Verify is the new way for you to prove who you are online, so you can use services on GOV.UK safely.
Why GOV.UK Verify is needed
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 really you (not someone pretending to be you), and to ensure your information is safe.
GOV.UK Verify is more secure than usual methods of proving who you are, because there’s no central storage of information.
GOV.UK Verify uses certified companies to check it’s you.
Verifying your identity takes around 15 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’re also asked to enter a code you receive on your mobile phone; this is known as 2-factor authentication.
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, vulnerable storage of information.
GOV.UK Verify is being tested in public beta with users and these departments and services:
- Log in and file your Self Assessment tax return with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- Rural Payments, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
- Check or update your company car tax (HMRC)
- Claim a redundancy or insolvency payment with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
User feedback will inform continuous improvements and further testing.
In 2015 more companies will join the programme for certification, and more 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) which is a non-profit trade organisation focused on internet identity solutions.