Who can Countersign a Passport Application?

Many applicants are aware that they need someone to countersign their Passport application, but a large percentage of people are not aware that the requirements for choosing the right individual to perform the countersign are very specific.

We have prepared this guidance in order to make it clear for all applicants what is required of the person countersigning a British Passport application.

The basic circumstances for requiring a counter signatory are as follows:

You must get your application form & one of your passport photos signed if:

• You are applying for your first adult or child passport
• You are replacing a lost, stolen or damaged passport
• You are renewing a passport for a child aged 11 or under
• You have changed significantly and you can't be recognised from your current/last expired passport.


The counter signatory must:

• Have known the applicant (if an adult) or if a child (have known the parent) for at least 2 years.

• Be able to identify the applicant/parent of applicant as a friend, colleague, in other words not just a random professional.

• Live in the UK
• Hold a valid/non expired British Passport



The counter signatory must not:

• Be related by birth or marriage
• Be living at the same address as the applicant/parent of applicant

Additional Update: In the past it was ok to use your Doctor/GP to countersign your application. Due to high demand and complaints received from medical professionals you are now not able to use your registered doctor as a counter signatory (however if you have a friend or colleague who is a doctor this is still permitted).



What does the counter signatory need to do:

Fill in and sign section [10] of the Passport application form, taking care to include valid contact details, address and valid Passport information.

Must sign, date and certify 1 of the 2 Passport sized photographs provided
(Only 1 photo is to be used the other is to be left blank!)

Example of how to countersign a passport photo:




Occupations of those who are eligible to countersign:

Countersignatories must work in (or be retired from) a recognised profession or be 'a person of good standing in their community', eg:

• Accountant
• Airline pilot
• Articled clerk of a limited company
• Assurance agent of recognised company
• Bank/building society official
• Barrister
• Chairman/director of limited company
• Chiropodist
• Commissioner of oaths
• Councillor, eg local or county
• Civil servant (permanent)
• Dentist
• Director/manager/personnel officer of a VAT-registered company
• 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
• Legal secretary - fellow or associate member of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs
• Licensee of public house
• Local government officer
• Manager/personnel officer of a limited company
• Member, associate or fellow of a professional body
• Member of Parliament
• Merchant Navy officer
• Minister of a recognised religion - including Christian Science
• Nurse - RGN or RMN
• Officer of the armed services
• Optician
• Paralegal - certified paralegal, qualified paralegal or associate member of the Institute of Paralegals
• Person with honours, eg an OBE or MBE
• Pharmacist
• Photographer - professional
• Police officer
• Post Office official
• President/secretary of a recognised organisation
• 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 Officers and Chief Petty Officers

• Please note: Individuals who work for Her Majesty's Passport Office cannot be counter signatories.


Additional Tips:

In order for your Passport application to be processed in the fastest possible time, please ensure that your counter signatory fill in valid contact details (it is sometimes best to use a mobile phone number) as Her Majesty's Passport Office may contact them in order to confirm further information. If they are unable to contact via phone they will have to resort to postal services which could delay your application by days to weeks.

Need more information?

Talk with the Passport Office Adviceline team

0905 801 7202

Lines open 8am-8pm

Call connection to HM Passport Office Advice line, calls charged at £1.55 per minute plus your phone provider's access charge. Similar services are available at a reduced cost from gov.uk.

Other related posts...

I Can't Find Anyone To Countersign My Application, What Can I Do?

For passport applicants finding someone who can countersign their passport application can be a daunting task. However, many applicants are unaware of the rules and guidelines around this crucial part of your application, this is leading to many applications b... Read More

Reporting A Lost/Stolen Passport & Urgent Replacement

Lost or stolen passports cost UK travellers almost 5 million every year in emergency travel documents (ETD) the cost of replacing your passport and the extra cost of travel, time wasted and of course including the inconvenience. Many of these lost or stolen ... Read More

Passport Office Blog

Our blog is full of useful tips and interesting facts about the world of Passports and Travel.

Passports Office provides relevant information about new passports, renewing an existing passport, and the contact details of key UK passport offices.