It is rare that a client would ask us of that, but sometimes it happens. However, the practice of asking for everyone's ID and documenting the details of the person we are dealing with is a fairly recent addition to a Real Estate Associates duties. "Back in the old days all we needed was a handshake and a price on a napkin!". The world has changed.
In a post 9/11 world, there is much emphasis on terrorist activities and the financing of terrorist organizations. The Federal requirement that Real Estate Associates and Brokers capture a clients Identification and report suspicious transactions falls under FINTRAC.
Fintrac(The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) mandate is to facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, while ensuring the protection of personal information under our control.
FINTRAC states we need to ascertain the identify of everyone we work with. Whether they are an individual, and individual who doesn't reside here, a corporation etc... Our job is to ensure we identify who we are working with and document that for FINTRAC. They even go so far as to specifically mention we also have to document the Identification of buyers and/or sellers that are part of a transaction even if we are not representing them but e are representing one party.
All real estate practitioners are licensed to sell real estate in Alberta and fall under the Real Estate Act and the Regulator (RECA). RECA doesn't necessarily come directly and say " you must identify everyone". However, RECA does state that we must Exercise Reasonable Care & Skill when working with our clients. Well that is a pretty broad "Duty", it is "reasonable" that a real estate agent would want to ensure the legal contract they are preparing has the correct name of the person(s) they are working with. In addition it would also be reasonable that they ensure the persons they are dealing with are in fact authorized to represent the corporation that is buying or selling.
Really, is it unreasonable to provide your identification for the purpose buying real estate worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?
What about if you are selling your home privately? Is it unreasonable that we would want to identify that the person we are dealing with in fact can sell the home, and we have the correct legal name and spelling when completing a legal document (an offer to purchase)?
While we understand your need for privacy, we will require your identification for the above noted reason, in addition to security and protection of our real estate agents.