Anti-Money Laundering (Client ID)

Client ID and “No Cash” Regulations 

The Society has guidelines and processes (Regulations 4.12 and 4.13) to assist lawyers to ensure that they are not facilitating or otherwise assisting anyone to commit an illegal act, including money laundering and terrorist financing. 

By adhering to these fundamental principles, lawyers help prevent crime and maintain public trust in the justice system.  

The Federation of Law Societies developed these rules and all Canadian jurisdictions have adopted them. Regulation amendments to client identification and verification and the receipt of cash came into effect on January 1, 2020.

Sample Agent Agreement Instructions

We’ve created a sample Agent Agreement that may assist you in adapting to the Client Identification and Verification Regulations. This sample form is designed for use by lawyers retaining agents to verify the identity of a client, where the client is not in Canada and is not instructing the lawyer in person. 

This particular sample attempts to verify the identity of an individual/client by examining that person’s unexpired passport. Although the regulation does not require the agent to examine more than one piece of identification, depending on the circumstances of the file, you may want an agent to examine several pieces in addition to the passport, such as an unexpired driver’s licence or other government-issued identification. 

Please modify this sample agreement to suit the circumstances of the matter or transaction. 

If your client is signing other documents in the presence of the agent, such as an acknowledgment and direction authorizing you to electronically submit title documents for registration, you may wish to modify this agreement to set out any further instructions to the agent. 

Before retaining the agent, it is prudent to confirm his/her fees for this service, in writing. We also recommend confirming these costs in writing with your client in advance, to minimize the risk of a misunderstanding about fees.  

Client ID Documents & Resources 

Guidance on Expired Government Issued Identification

The Nova Scotia government is taking measures to ensure the health and safety of their employees and the public, including extending the validity of identification documents, including drivers licenses, that have expired on or after March 1, 2020, so that in-person visits to renewal facilities can be avoided.

For the purposes of verifying client identity using this type of identification document, if a person presents a document or information affected by such a decision, the lawyer must continue to determine that the document is a government-issued photo ID document, but can, until further notice, consider the document or information as valid and current pursuant to its issuing authority. Alternatively, the lawyer may wish to consider using another method to verify the identity of the person. Learn more about extended validity periods for driver’s licences in Nova Scotia.