Who can countersign a British passport application?

Getting someone to countersign a passport photo is an easy process. Someone simply signs their name on the back of your passport photograph to confirm that it is indeed an accurate likeness of you. Not just anyone can sign a passport photo, however, and there are conditions the counter-signatory must meet.

Who can sign?

The first piece of criteria your counter-signatory must meet is that they have to have known you for a period of two years. However, they cannot be someone you’re in a relationship with or who lives in your household. Nor can they be someone you’re related to, either by marriage or by birth. Know¬†Who can sign your passport forms and photos?

They must be able to identify you properly, and not be someone you just have a passing familiarity with. They must also be someone of good standing in the community. To qualify for that they must either be retired from or currently work in, one of several recognized professions. Read more about accepted professions here.

The counter-signatory must also be a UK resident and hold a current British passport.

What the counter-signatory must do

Once you have decided who you’d like to countersign your photo – and they have agreed, and they meet all of the relevant criteria to be an officially recognized counter-signatory – you must have them sign the back of your passport photograph.

To do that, they must write the following phrase on the back of the photo:

“I certify that this is a true likeness of (Title, Forename, Surname)”

They must then provide their signature underneath their declaration and provide the date they signed the photograph on, at which point you’re free to post off your application to the passport office.

It’s important to make sure you thoroughly understand the rules relating to who can and cannot countersign your passport photo. Failure to do so will mean your application will be sent back to you, which will only serve to delay the process.

Please make sure you inform the person counter-signing the photograph that the passport office may contact them to confirm their details and your identity.

Photo: Fountain pen by matsuyuki licensed under Creative commons 2

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