Government launches Document Checking Service pilot

Cabinet Office says service will allow organisations to access passport data for identity checks

Posted 11 August 2020 by

The Cabinet Office has announced a pilot of a new digital identity checking service, the Document Checking Service (DCS).

The DCS, run by the Government Digital Service, allows a number of approved organisations to digitally check a person’s passport data to speed up application processes.

Up until now, the Document Checking Service had only been available to GOV.UK Verify identity providers.

The Government says the service will provide people with easier and safer access to digital services which require identity checks, such as online mortgage applications, financial services and recruitment onboarding.

Under the pilot, no organisation will be given access to government-held data and an individual must consent to having their data verified. The organisation checking the ID will simply receive a ‘yes or no’ answer confirming whether the document provided is valid.

The Cabinet Office points to “significant time savings for people who previously went through in-person processes to verify their identities. It will also provide financial savings for organisations who can move their identity proofing processes online.”

Government and private sector “working together”

“The DCS pilot provides an opportunity to establish how the Government and private sector might work together for the convenience of the citizens we serve,” said Cabinet Office Minister, Julia Lopez.

“It will help us learn how we can help citizens and businesses access online services by verifying a person’s identity more safely and easily, unlocking the huge potential of technology to improve our everyday lives,”

Up to eleven organisations have been selected to be part of the pilot from a range of sectors.

“The UK has a thriving digital economy and we are committed to making it easier for people to prove their identity online without compromising personal information and for businesses to conduct checks in a safe and secure way,” said Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman.

“This pilot is a significant step forward in our work and will help speed up access to financial services and make sure more people can benefit from the huge potential of technology.”