General News


There are two issues related to client identification. They are Identifying your Client and Verifying the Identity of a client and distinguishing these can sometimes be confusing.

Identifying your Client  – If the client does not have identification, you [the Justice] may ask reasonable questions to assure yourself of the person’s identity. These questions may include:

  • What is your full name? 
  • What is your address? 
  • What is your occupation?  

Please remember it is NOT acceptable to refuse to administer a client’s document because they do not have a form of photo identification.  The proof of identification lies solely with the client.


Verifying the Identity of a Client – This refers to agencies required to comply with AML-CFT legislation, and in this situation, CURRENT photo identification is required, and the receiving agency often specifies the identification documents that are acceptable.

There are also other documents where the receiving agency specifies the Identification documents required e.g.

  • DIA specifies what is required for a Name Change, and
  • Application for an NZ Passport has specific identity verification requirements.

Please talk with your client to understand what is required in their particular situation.  

For further information please refer to your Ministerial Manual Art 2.3 and Art 3.3 respectively.