2. Credit file method
How to use the credit file method to identify an individual
You can identify an individual by referring to a Canadian credit file that has been in existence for at least three years. To be acceptable, the credit file details must match the name, date of birth and address provided by the individual. If any of the information does not match, you will need to use another method to verify the individual’s identity.
Complete credit files provide ratings on individuals to assess their ability to repay loans; however, it is possible to request a credit file to confirm an individual’s identifying information that does not include a credit assessment. You do not need a credit assessment to identify an individual. Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada are Canadian credit bureaus that provide credit file information for identification purposes.
An individual cannot provide you with a copy of their credit file. You must obtain the information directly from a Canadian credit bureau. It is acceptable, however, to use an automated system to match the individual’s information with the credit file information. You may also rely on a third party vendor that can provide you with an original and valid Canadian credit file. A third party vendor is an entity that is authorized by a Canadian credit bureau to provide Canadian credit information.
To rely on a credit file search, you must conduct the search at the time you identify the individual’s identity. For example, a previous credit file would not be acceptable. To be acceptable as a single source, the credit file must:
- match the name, address and date of birth that the individual provided;
- be from Canada; foreign credit files are not acceptable;
- have been in existence for at least three years.
The individual does not need to be physically present at the time you confirm their identity.
What information needs to be recorded when using the credit file method?
If you are using this method, you must record:
- The individual’s name;
- The name of the Canadian credit bureau holding the credit file;
- The reference number of the credit file;
- The date you consulted or searched the credit file.