Applying for a child’s first passport can be a particularly arduous process, no more so than ensuring they have an appropriate passport photo. But who can sign for a child’s passport photo? If the child is under sixteen then they qualify for a child’s passport and is valid for five years.
Because a child is not a legal adult and are the responsibility of a parent or guardian, a passport requires a countersignatory to sign the forms and the back of the photograph. This person signs the form to confirm that they know who you are and that the information you’ve provided is true. There are several people who can sign the back of the photograph, dependent on the situation that your child is in, though this is separated into two steps.
Firstly, someone with parental responsibility over the child will make the application for the passport on behalf of the child. Generally, they may have to co-sign the back of the photograph. Depending on the situation, this can be a parent or a guardian who cares for the child on a day to day basis.
Secondly, the identity must be verified by another person who knows the child and can confirm the identity of the child. There are some requirements of the individual you choose to co-sign:
– They must have known you and/or the child for two years at least when the application is made.
– Be able to identify you as a friend, colleague or neighbour
– Be an upstanding member of the community or work in a recognised profession. This can include accountants, barristers and solicitors, teachers and lecturers, Members of Parliament or those who work in the emergency services. You should consult the website of the UK Passport for a full list of recognised professions.
The only exceptions to this list of countersignatories are employees who work for HM Passport Office and doctors and general practitioners, unless they know a person particularly well.
A countersignatory must also live in the United Kingdom and hold a valid British or Irish passport.