Do You Witness Financial Transaction Documents Remotely?

Article originally published in December 2023 issue of the Communiqué

Photo ID can no longer be verified by Video conference/Zoom/Teams

After January 1, 2024, verification of client ID by video conference will no longer be acceptable.

You can still witness documents related to a financial transaction remotely using Zoom, Teams or other video conferencing platforms but you cannot verify  the identification of the client remotely by looking at the client’s government issued photo ID on your screen.

The real impact of the change will be for lawyers who use the regulations on remote execution of land titles documents as those are financial transactions where client ID must be verified. So, you are going to need to do some planning if you won’t be seeing the client and their ID in person.

Other Methods to verify ID where there is no in person meeting

There are other options to verify Identity of the client when documents relating to a financial transaction
are executed remotely:

  1. Previous verification of the ID of the client in person by you or someone else in your office.
  2. Verification of the ID of the client by an agent. Send off an agent agreement (sample agreement) to their real estate agent or banker or accountant or other responsible person who can do the verification for you.
  3. The credit check method.
  4. Use two trusted pieces of information from a reliable source.
  5. New – use a DIACC certified software service that can confirm the authenticity of government photo ID and match the result to the image or video of the client. (See the DIACC website. A directory of certified software services suitable for use by lawyers will be available on the DIACC website shortly.)

For more information on the anti-money laundering rules, check out the Anti-Money Laundering page on the Law Society of Manitoba’s Education Centre or take in the Federation of Law Societies’ new online Anti Money Laundering education package and get CPD hours for free!