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Why you need to provide a copy of your ID when buying or selling Real Estate in Canada.

Michael PoczynekWhy do I need to show my Realtor my photo ID & occupation when buying or selling Real Estate in Canada?Canadian Passport

In Prince Edward Island, and all of Canada, as of June 23, 2008, sellers [vendors] (who are listing a property for sale) and buyers [purchasers] (signing an offer to purchase property) are now required to show a form of government issued photo identification (at the time of signing) to the real estate salesperson or broker who is now required by law to record on a form the details from the photo ID as well as the person’s occupation (document number, birth date, address, etc.).  This information must be retained in the Real Estate Broker’s company files as a private record for FINTRAC review (if needed) regarding verification of the identity of persons buying or selling real estate in Canada.

1. What is FINTRAC?

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) is an agency of the Government of Canada responsible for facilitating the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering, terrorist activity financing and other threats to the security of Canada.

FINTRAC receives reports from financial institutions and intermediaries, analyzes and assesses the reported information, and disclose suspicions of money laundering or of terrorist financing activities to police authorities and others as permitted by the Act. FINTRAC will also disclose to CSIS information that is relevant to threat to the security of Canada.

The analysis of information that FINTRAC receives from reporting entities facilitates the investigation and prosecution of money laundering offences and terrorist financing offences. FINTRAC’s analysis is a vital tool to law enforcement, and strikes a balance between privacy and enforcement needs.

FINTRAC & Real Estate

A real estate broker or a real estate sales representative or a real estate developer

Must report:

Suspicious transactions
Must report where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a transaction or an attempted transaction is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence.

Terrorist property
Must report where you know that there is property in your possession or control that is owned or controlled by or on behalf of a terrorist or a terrorist group.

Large cash transactions
Must report large cash transactions involving amounts of $10,000 or more received in cash.

Must keep:

  • Large cash transaction records
  • Receipt of funds records
  • Client information records
  • Copies of official corporate records (binding provisions)
  • Copies of suspicious transaction reports

Must take specific measures to identify the following individuals or entities:

  • Any individual who conducts a large cash transaction
  • Any individual or entity for whom you have to keep a client information record or a receipt of funds record
  • Any individual for whom you have to send a suspicious transaction report (reasonable measures and exceptions apply)

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