GOV.UK Verify officially shuts down

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has officially closed the GOV.UK Verify service. 

The online guidance has been updated to say: “You can no longer use GOV.UK Verify to create a new identity account, or use an existing identity account to sign in to any government services.”

The formal shutdown comes several weeks after an update announcing that no public services are now using the Verify service to support their login process.

Following its closure the Post Office will automatically delete all user accounts. Digidentity will do so “after two years of inactivity”, unless the account is used for other Digidentity services, the online guidance states. Users can also close their own accounts. 

“After accounts are deleted, Digidentity and Post Office are required to keep some information for up to seven years,” the guidance said. “This is for audit, counter-fraud and record keeping reasons.”

The £175m Verify programme was originally launched in 2013 and was heralded as a flagship digital programme for government. In 2016, the government announced plans to have every department using the system. However, having failed to meet key performance targets - less than one-sixth of the forecast 25 million users by 2020 - the programme was eventually scrapped. 

It was initially due to be shutdown in 2021 but was given another two years to give the GDS more time to develop its replacement, One Login, a beta version of which was launched in August 2022 and is being tested by a number of government departments.

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