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Countersigning passport applications and photos

The person who signs your passport application and photo to prove your identity is your ‘countersignatory’.

When you need someone to sign your application and photo

You must get your application countersigned if you are applying for:

  • your first adult passport 
  • a replacement for a lost, stolen or damaged passport
  • any child passport 
  • a renewal of an adult passport that is more than a year out of date
  • a renewal of a passport when your appearance has changed and you can’t be recognised from your existing passport

The countersignatory's role

By signing your passport application at section 7 your countersignatory is confirming:

  • they have known you for more than two years
  • you are who you claim to be

For a child passport application, the countersignatory must have known the person who signs the declaration at section 9 for more than two years. They must have met the child to say that the photo is a true likeness.

The countersignatory must also give their British passport number so we can check their identity.

Photos: what the countersignatory must do

Your countersignatory must:

  • write on the back of one photo: ‘I certify that this is a true likeness of [Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or other title, followed by your full name]’
  • add their signature and date below the written statement

Who can be your countersignatory

Your countersignatory must:

  • be over 18
  • hold a current British passport
  • have known you for at least two years
  • live in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man

Your countersignatory must not:

  • be related to you by birth or marriage
  • be in a personal relationship with you
  • live at the same address as you

Your countersignatory should be a professional person or ‘a person of good standing in the community’ eg:

  • accountant
  • advocate
  • airline pilot
  • assurance agent of recognised company
  • bank manager
  • chairman / director of limited company
  • chiropodist
  • civil servant
  • dentist
  • engineer (with professional qualifications)
  • financial services intermediary (eg a stockbroker or insurance broker)
  • fire service official
  • funeral director
  • insurance agent (full time) of a recognised company
  • journalist
  • justice of the Peace
  • lawyer
  • legal secretary (fellow or associate member of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA’s)
  • licensee of public house
  • local States member
  • manager / personnel officer (of a limited company)
  • member, associate or fellow of a professional body
  • Merchant Navy officer
  • minister of a recognised religion (including Christian Science)
  • notary public
  • nurse (RGN and RMN)
  • officer of the armed services (active or retired)
  • optician
  • paralegal (certified paralegal, qualified paralegal or associate member of the Institute of Paralegals)
  • parish official
  • person with honours (eg an OBE or MBE)
  • pharmacist
  • photographer (professional)
  • police officer
  • Salvation Army officer
  • social worker
  • solicitor
  • surveyor
  • teacher / lecturer
  • trade union officer
  • travel agent (qualified)
  • valuer or auctioneer (fellows and associate members of the incorporated society)
  • warrant officer and chief petty officer


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