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The new in-person identity check for GOV.UK One Login

On one side a laptop screen which says 'Start proving your identity with GOV.UK One Login' and on the other side a building with the Post Office logo on it.

Core to GDS's mission for GOV.UK One Login is our commitment to make sure as many people as possible can easily prove their identity to access government services. 

We are therefore excited to announce that we are now working with the Post Office to run an in-person identity check in their branches, for people who need additional support to use GOV.UK One Login.

The in-person service has been created to assist people who want to use GOV.UK One Login, but are unable to use the app or browser journey for identity verification. We’ve designed this 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.

The service is currently in private beta which means that together with the Post Office we are testing the route and making improvements. Once these changes have been made and tested, the service will be fully available to the public. 

How this will work

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

  1. Provide basic details to create a GOV.UK One Login account online.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Have their ID document scanned by the postmaster, and a photograph taken.
  5. Following processing with the Post Office's document checking partner, Yoti, the user will be notified an outcome is available for them via email, and that they can now access the service they began their journey with.

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. 

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 GDS and Post Office partnership

There are many benefits to partnering with the Post Office on this service. The Post Office is a well known institution and many people in the UK use their services regularly. They have a selection of branches offering in-person verification already in place for other government and non-government services. Most people in the UK are within 10 miles of a branch that is offering this new in-person identity check for GOV.UK One Login.

Postmasters are trusted and often well-known figures in their local community. They can support those individuals who are unable to use the app or browser journey for verification through the in-person service.

Once initiated online using the above steps, during the visit to the Post Office staff will be happy to help with the identity verification process. 

What's coming next

We are continuing to build out our offering so as many people as possible can access our government services using GOV.UK One Login. Which is why we are currently procuring a service where people can get support over the phone or by email when using the GOV.UK One Login service. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about GOV.UK One Login read our latest update blog: GOV.UK One Login: June 2023 update.

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  1. Comment by Philip W posted on

    I would be very interested in having a conversation around being part of a trial for this service. Our department has a number of in person checks that need to be completed for one reason or another and this sounds very interesting.

    • Replies to Philip W>

      Comment by The GDS Team posted on

      Hi, thanks for getting in touch.

      We’re always keen to hear from services across government interested in using GOV.UK One Login. If you could please fill in the form here, our Onboarding team will get back to you:

      You’ll also find out more about GOV.UK One Login on that website.


  2. Comment by Johnathan posted on

    Hi GDS Team

    There is a nifty service provided to allow me to pass a share code for someone that want to check my driving license. For example, my employer.
    Is there a similarly secure service that will allow my Employer to view/validate my UK Passport without me having to present my physical document?

    We have annual security vetting due to the nature of our business.
    And every year we have to show our physical documents. (based on current Security Policy).

    It is quite a faff if you general work from home and rarely attend the office.
    But a share code for one stop shop identity checking service might just be the best way to get that policy updated to allow GDS Check.

    • Replies to Johnathan>

      Comment by The GDS Team posted on


      Thanks for your question.

      The GOV.UK One Login programme is always looking at potential future areas to scope and develop. We don’t currently have a specific plan to add this particular functionality, but this is something we keep under review.

      GOV.UK One Login is currently scoping out future work. We are currently exploring options on how to expand the use of GOV.UK One Login, however this is still in the very early stages of discovery. For more information please take a look at our roadmap:

  3. Comment by Alessandro Messeri posted on


    First of all, good job on the initiative -- OneLogin is definitely better than any form of paper ID from the outset. However, I have searched the AppStore for a different Gov.UK reason, and several apps are claiming to be from the UK Government (EU Exit, HMRC...); a search for OneLogin returns a Czech authenticator app (not even free), and there is indeed an app called GOV.UK ID Check claiming to be developed by Government Digital Service, but ... there is nothing telling me that it is the "real" GDS and that I'm not about to scan my passport into the dark web.

    Unfortunately, the design of the UK Government web presence, while beautiful and efficient, is easy to falsify (I almost got caught on a bogus DVLA website years ago) and without some way of authenticating that the app is legitimate, and it's the right one, I can't really trust it.

    How can I certify that GOV.UK ID Check is the right app?

    • Replies to Alessandro Messeri>

      Comment by The GDS Team posted on

      Hi Alessandro,

      Thanks for your question.

      At the moment to use the app you have to be using a service which requires the use of GOV.UK One Login. The service directs users to the specific Government Digital Service app within the app store. This means that there is no need for the user to search themselves in the app stores.

      The Government Digital Service, along with other government departments, are working hard to make sure that apps which are unofficial or misleading are removed from the app store. Our app has a listed publisher which has been verified by the app stores, and has millions of downloads.

      The GDS Team

      • Replies to The GDS Team>

        Comment by Alessandro Messeri posted on

        Thank you very much @GDS Team!

  4. Comment by Peggy posted on

    are you looking at bus passes being a form of identity, my mum has a bus pass, she had to attend the local council with a photo. That was a few years ago so maybe its all online now but just a thought for people over a certain age.

    • Replies to Peggy>

      Comment by John Holben, Deputy Director for GOV.UK One Login posted on

      Hi Peggy,

      Thanks for your question.

      GOV.UK One Login is built to work with only some forms of proof of identity, such as passport and driving licences. While we currently don't accept bus passes we are continuing to work on other identity verification routes for people who do not have traditional forms of identity documents.


  5. Comment by Daniel Lee posted on

    Good job with this. Hopefully, the whole thing works as smoothly as can be expected. I assume there will be a few hiccups at first, but expect they will get ironed out eventually.

    Daniel Lee

  6. Comment by SANDY PORTER posted on

    This will be a good addition to One Login. We used the previous version of this service 12 years ago for the UK Gov Skills Funding Agency and it worked pretty well. We were able to increase on-boarding by about 10%. We extended the product deployed for the SFA with Alexa for on-boarding and using a service. This really streamlines user experience for any users and it also brings in those who struggle with current services. Key to take up will be how low friction the service is for users. The UK really would benefit from the government providing the basic identity/authentication part and private sector layering on verified data attributes/anti-fraud services to it. Private sector attributes could be shared with Gov services and the converse with user consent.

  7. Comment by Andy posted on

    Do the post office staff know that they will now be providing this service?

    I recently applied to renew my passport. I followed the instructions shown on GOV.UK, went to the Post Office and asked them for the thing I needed from them, and they didn't know anything about the new process that had been introduced.

    • Replies to Andy>

      Comment by John Holben, Deputy Director for GOV.UK One Login posted on

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for your question and we are sorry that you had this experience.

      We have been working with the Post Office to incorporate this new service and we have recently been completing the private beta phase, which means we were still testing it with a smaller group of users and making improvements. We have worked closely with the Post Office to make sure any issues experienced in private beta were resolved, before making the service fully live.

  8. Comment by Claudio Pires Franco posted on

    Nice. Good effort in trying to make it more accessible / inclusive.
    "we are currently procuring a service where people can get support over the phone"
    I'd love to hear more!

    User researcher for NHS login


    *Moderator note: removed email address

  9. Comment by Daren posted on

    How will people be able to use the service if they don't have a valid passport or driving licence? My Mum is over 70 and although needing to access services online, she is unable to due to photo ID documents are out of date. Couldn't the post office check ID documents that have expired but still prove their Identity?

    • Replies to Daren>

      Comment by John Holben, Deputy Director for GOV.UK One Login posted on

      Hi Daren,

      Thanks for your question. People can continue to use their UK passport if they have expired within the last 18 months when verifying their identities via the One Login 'web' route, or via the 'in person' route at the Post Office. These are different options the user is presented with when verifying their identity. All other identity documents (e.g. Driving License or Biometric Residence Permits) need to be in date. We also only support in date UK passports for the ‘mobile app’ route.

      We are also continuing to work on other identity verification routes for people who do not have traditional forms of identity documents.