The government has announced plans for an electronic verification system that could remove the necessity to produce original official documents to prove identity.

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, ministers intend to amend existing laws to widen the use of “digital identity”.

Officials are now looking to consult on a range of issues such as developing legislation for consumer protection relating to digital identity, the rights of individuals, the ability to seek redress if something goes wrong, and where responsibility should lie in such an eventuality.

The announcement this week is part of a governmental response to a previous call for evidence on digital identity, the Law Society Gazette reports.

Promising that the government intended to take “a lead role in developing the UK’s digital identity economy”, the document added: “We will develop proposals for a legal framework to remove regulatory barriers which prevent the use of secure digital identities and establish safeguards for citizens. We will also develop the next generation of digital identity use in government, and promote a pragmatic approach to international digital identity standards.”

It also suggested identity checks during the conveyancing process were an important example of where technological changes could reap rewards. “Effective use of digital identities (and digital signatures) would help simplify a lengthy process and enable more, if not all, of what is acknowledged to be one of life’s most stressful experiences to be moved online.”

In a statement, cabinet office minister Julia Lopez said: “It is clear that there is a need and an expectation for the government to make it easier for people to use digital identities quickly, safely and securely and we are committed to enabling this. We want to ensure there is transparency for people when they create and use digital identities so that they are always in control of who has access to their data and for what purpose.”

The full document can be accessed here.