Council Tax – Identity Gotcha

When applying for various services, you have to prove your identity. A common way of doing this is to provide documentary evidence such as a recent Council Tax bill.

My recent bill from Nottingham City council has made this a dangerous route to follow…

Yes, that’s right – in the top right had side of the bill, is an “online key”. This allows me to access my account online and, for example, change my contact details and look at details of payments made. There is no option to change it that I can see.

So the conclusion has to be from now on…

Don’t use your Council Tax bill as a proof of ID

… you’ll be giving away all the details needed to access your council tax account online, and change the details etc.

Who uses council tax as a proof of ID?

The Barring and Disclosure service do (on

But to be fair, I note that the government guidance GPG45 on “Identity proofing and verification of an individual” does not recommend it (also

So seems to be a bit of left hand / right hand issue in government as to whether it is acceptable or not – but anyway it is common practice.

Common practice that will now have to stop.


One thought on “Council Tax – Identity Gotcha

  1. Interesting post, and I think a good example of when an organisation comes up with a great idea but doesn’t first run it past someone with an iota of IT sense 🙂


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