Money Laundering ID Requirements

4th June 2021Manisha Chauhan4

As a will writer, you are required to take all reasonable and proper precautions to verify the identity of your client and that the instructions you take come from that person. This is in accordance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

Before you proceed with taking the instructions form the client, you should obtain 2 form of ID from each of your clients. One must be photo ID and the other must be a proof of address.

You should obtain one document from list A and one document from list B

List A – Identity Document

  • Current signed passport
  • Valid UK photo driving licence
  • EEA member state identity card

List B – Proof of Address

  • Valid UK/EU/EEA Drivers Licence – if not used from List A
  • Bank or building society statement
  • Utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Mortgage statement

Any document produced for proof of address must be no older than 3 months and must have the client’s current address. A copy of the ID should then be kept with the file so you can show you took steps to identify the client before taking instructions.

With the current situation and remote instruction taking, we understand and appreciate it will not be easy to obtain a copy of the ID. Therefore, you could ask the client to send you a photo of their ID prior to the meeting. Before the meeting commences, ask to see the ID which the client can then hold up to the camera.

Manisha Chauhan

Manisha joined the Society’s Technical Advice Team in July 2019 having previously worked as an Employment Solicitor in Warwickshire before relocating to Lincolnshire. Manisha provides advice on technical queries for Society Members and ongoing support on our professional drafting software, Sure Will Writer.


  • Jo Stark

    7th June 2021 at 3:12 pm

    Good Afternoon,

    I work alongside a Financial Services company. They use SmartSearch to carry out AML checks. This negates the requirement to obtain proof of ID and address as the search does that for them.

    Can we use this to verify our clients?


    • Manisha Chauhan

      11th June 2021 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Jo,

      You are welcome to use any software to carry out AML checks including SmartSearch as long as it meets your requirements and obligations under the legislation


  • [email protected]

    4th October 2021 at 10:54 am

    What happens with people who have neither photo driving licence or a passport? That is far from uncommon.


    • Manisha Chauhan

      4th October 2021 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Steve,

      If the client does not have a passport or driving licence, you are very limited with what you can accept as photo identification. If the only other identification they have is a travel card or a bus pass, you will have no option but accept this but make a note on your file that this was accepted in the absence of a passport or driving licence.

      I would then take 2 forms of ID with regards to proof of address so you satisfy the money laundering requirements.


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