Editorial

Post Office to offer in-person help for GOV.UK One Login users

The Post Office will run an in-person identity check in their branches for people who need additional support to use its digital identity platform, GOV.UK One Login.

Posted 31 August 2023 by Christine Horton


The Government Digital Service (GDS) is partnering with the Post Office to run an in-person identity check in their branches, for people who need additional support to use its digital identity platform, GOV.UK One Login.

GDS says it has created the in-person service to assist people who want to use One Login, but are unable to use the app or browser journey for identity verification.

In a blog, deputy directors for One Login, Rachel Tsang and John Holben, said GDS have designed the route specifically for users without smartphones, or those who have a low level of confidence in using a digital platform to input their document details.

“Offering an in-person service allows for a wider range of people to access vital public services online. Once having proved their identity people will, in the future, be able to reuse this to access services across government,” they said.

The service is currently in private beta, with GDS and the Post Office. Once changes have been made and tested, the service will be fully available to the public.

How will it work?

A user accessing the in-person service to help them prove their identity will go through the following steps:

Provide basic details to create a GOV.UK One Login account online.

If they need to prove their identity for the service they wish to access and don’t have a smartphone to access the app or need support to utilise the digital user journey, they can prove their identity using the in-person service.

They can choose a Post Office branch local to them and visit it, taking along a photo ID document, which could be:

a) A UK passport

b) A non-UK passport (with or without a chip)

c) A UK or EU driving licence

d) An EEA national identity card

e) A biometric residence permit

Have their ID document scanned by the postmaster, and a photograph taken.

Following processing with the Post Office’s document checking partner, Yoti, the user will be notified an outcome is available for them via email. They can then access the service.

“We’re aware this process does begin and end online, which may not work for everyone. However, for those who lack confidence or don’t have a smartphone, this in-person option may offer all the help they need to prove their identity with GOV.UK One Login,” said Tsang and Holben.

The in-person identity checking also allows people to make use of a wider range of identity documents, beyond driving licences, passports and biometric residence permits. This grows the number of people who can prove their identity using GOV.UK One Login.

The pair said GDS will continue to build out the One Login offering so as many people as possible can use it to access government services.