A sign saying for rent
The false claims have emerged in the wake of Australia passing digital ID laws. Image by AP PHOTO

No, you don’t need a ‘digital ID’ to work or rent in the UK

Kate Atkinson June 28, 2024

The UK requires a digital ID to be able to work and/or rent.


False. A digital ID is not required to work and/or rent in the UK.

AAP FACTCHECK – Residents must have a “digital ID” to rent or work in the UK, according to erroneous social media posts.

This is false. You do not need a digital ID to work or rent in the UK.

The posts have misunderstood a government web page which explains how employers and landlords can use companies to check a person’s citizenship or immigration documents – papers which are ordinarily required to prove one has the right to work or rent in the UK.

More broadly, the UK government is proposing laws to implement a voluntary digital ID system, which aims to help people prove their identities online without having to repeatedly present sensitive physical documents, for example when accessing government services.

The UK government says using a digital ID will not be mandatory.

The claim is spreading online following Australia’s passing of digital ID laws in May 2024.

A Facebook post spreading the false claim.
 The claims misconstrue a government web page. 

“The Digital ID in Australia has become law.  This is on the Gov dot UK website.  LOOK FOR YOURSELVES WHAT IT SAYS … You need it for the RIGHT TO WORK AND RENT!!!  Still think that we’re conspiracy THEORISTS???” one post claims. 

“They’ll never make digital ID mandatory…Lol. You’ll just need a digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks,” another states.

The posts reference a UK government web page, titled “Guidance: Digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks”, which has been misinterpreted by many users.

This web page refers to “digital identity service providers” (IDSPs). 

These are companies which can be used by employers and landlords to check the identity and immigration status of applicants to verify they have the right to live and work in the UK.

“All people must demonstrate their right to work, rent, access government services and benefits in the UK by proving their citizenship or immigration status,” Andrew Osborne, partner in the immigration team at UK law firm Lewis Silkin, told AAP FactCheck.

The process does not require people to create a “digital ID”. Instead, applicants upload a copy of their passport via an app or website, along with a photo of themselves, Mr Osborne explained.

These are then assessed by the IDSP (page 5) to confirm the documents are legitimate and match the identity of the applicant.

Using an IDSP is not mandatory for employers and landlords, and applicants can still provide physical documents to prove who they are.

The Verdict

The claim that you need a digital ID to work and/or rent in the UK is false. 

A digital ID is not needed to work or rent in the UK. However, companies offer services to digitally verify individuals’ citizenship or immigration documents to check whether they’re legally permitted to work and rent in the UK. Manual processes are still available.

False – The claim is inaccurate. 

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