id verification

simple identity checks for account holders

All virtual address and mailbox providers are bound by strict Anti Money-Laundering and Counter Terror Funding laws,  designed to protect the safety and security of individuals,  and society as a whole.

Even though expatpost doesn't form offshore Companies,  set up bank accounts or transact international finance,  we must still comply with the legal requirements set down by HMRC. . .  in particular the need to confirm the identity of Account Holders.   The documents you will need to provide  (either as scans or photographsmust include at least one form of photo ID,  a proof of current or previous address and a 'selfie'.   In all cases,  two forms of ID are the required minimum.

Please remember. . . we don't make these rules,  and the sole job of our dedicated Compliance team is to help you through the process,  so please don't get cross if they ask you for a better image or more documents!   :o)

id groups explained. . .

Our overseas customers generally fall into two categories,  as defined below. . .  and to make the process of ID Verification easier to follow,  we've broken the process down into sections.

british expatriates

UK nationals living abroad,  including the children of British citizens who were born overseas.

foreign nationals overseas

Any non-uk citizens,  living elsewhere in the world,  regardless of their nationality or country of residence.

photo id

UK passports

At least one photographic proof of identity is required for the named Account Holder.

Acceptable documents include:  Your passport photo page,  national identity card,  national or State photo driving licence,  European Union travel card,  or other Government issued photo ID such as a CIS4 or NHS staff card.   The Government publish a much more comprehensive list of allowable ID documents in their Proof of Identity Checklist.

If you have two forms of photo ID available to you,  we strongly suggest that you submit both. . .  and please pay attention to our image standards guide a little further down this page.

proof of address

Any documents submitted should be less than 3 months old,  and must show the Account Holder's name.

Examples include:  A utility,  landline or internet bill,  a bank,  building society or credit card statement,  a certificate of insurance,  a pay slip or P45 / P60,  a property lease or rental agreement,  or any HMRC notice,  benefits letter or official government communication.   Again,  you may want to look through the Government's published Proof of Identity Checklist.

However,  we understand that circumstances are very different when you have been living abroad for several years,  so we may be able to accept documents that relate to your last address in the UK,  even if it was several years ago.

Because it is so difficult to check addresses outside of the UK,  we rely much more upon a process of official document validation that compares your submitted photo IDs with government databases from over 70 countries.   This means that it may well be necessary to submit two forms of photo ID in order to reach the required ID 'score'.

image standards

a guide to submitted documents

UK passports

Images,  whether scans or photographs,  should follow these four simple guidelines.

1:   The image must be in colour.

2:   The whole of the document must be shown within the image. . .  it must not be cropped,  cut-off or obscured,  even at the edges  ( watch out for your thumb getting in the way! )   ;o)

3:   The image must be clear and in focus,  with no marks or reflections that prevent any part of the document from being read  ( it may help to turn off the flash on your phone! )

4:   The document should be as 'square on' to the camera as possible and not photographed at an angle.

including a 'selfie'

In all cases,  a simple 'selfie' photograph  ( full face and without a hat )  confirms that the documents being submitted really belong to the Account Holder.   Please don't worry if you are having a 'bad hair day'. . .  we all have those from time to time,  and no-one outside of our Compliance team will ever see the photo!  :o)


If you are at all concerned that your ID may not meet the validation criteria,  contact Support and we will carry out a pre-verification check for you,  without obligation and completely free of charge!

In the event that your submitted documents don't meet the minimum ID Verification criteria,  our Compliance team will contact you with advice and a request for further information.