Soon individuals will need to have their identities verified through GOV.UK Verify to access online government services.
Government Gateway was a useful way to get access to online government services. However, with more and more services shifting to digital, the clunkiness of Government Gateway became apparent.
Each time anyone wanted to register for a new online service, whether it was for your annual Self Assessment or to check your Driving Licence details, you had to have your identity verified. This process involved being sent an activation code in the post, which took up to 7 days. Then, once you had your activation code, you had to use it within 28 days.
It was clear that the process was more protracted than it had to be, which is why GOV.UK Verify was created - It's a single portal through which individuals can have their identity verified, for all available services.
Now, with GOV.UK Verify, once you've registered with (and been verified by) a certified identity partner, like CitizenSafe, you can log in and access a number of government services.
We'll tell the government that you are who you say you are, not someone pretending to be you, and the good news is that you'll only have to register with us once. No more multiple activation codes in the post.
Not only is GOV.UK Verify easier for the user, it's much more secure because no one company or organisation holds all of your personal information.
For instance, we'll keep the information we need to get your identity verified – nothing more – while the government department you're using will only keep the information they need to perform the service you require. It's safer for you, and more efficient for government departments.
The switch to GOV.UK Verify is building momentum. A handful of services are already available, including Self Assessment tax return, as well as checking your State Pension and Driving Licence details. The GDS (Government Digital Services) team are focussed on April 2016 when Verify will become the primary path to access GOV.UK services online.
Eventually all government services will shift over from manual processes or Government Gateway and access will be rolled out to everyone in the UK via GOV.UK Verify.
When you first use GOV.UK Verify, you'll have a list of companies to choose from, all of whom offer an identity verification service. We're not the biggest name on the list, but that's because verifying identities is all we do. We don't have a shopfront and unless you've had to have your identity checked online for something else, there's probably no reason why you would know about us.
However, because of our years of experience providing a dedicated service, we know how to make your identity check as painless a process as possible. No unnecessary questions – just simple, easy-to-understand forms that won't keep you at your computer longer than needed.
Stay up-to-date by registering below for information about which services are going live, plus tips and advice to help with your life online.