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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  • a renewal of an adult passport that is more than a year out of date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 8, your countersignatory is confirming:

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

For an application in respect of a child, the countersignatory must have known the person who signs the declaration at section 7 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 (full name of applicant)’
  • 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 personally 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 or any other family member
  • 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 (including Honorary Police)
  • 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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