Can my doctor countersign my UK passport application?
When submitting a British passport application, applicants must provide a signed and dated passport-style photograph along with two counter-signed photographs to prove their identity. Until recently, doctors were accepted as countersignatories for passport applications, but changes to the rules mean that this is no longer the case.
In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the demand for British passport applications to be signed off by a doctor or other medical professional as a countersignatory. This demand has put a significant strain on doctors surgeries across the UK, and as a result, some doctors have been forced to stop taking on countersignatory duties.
A countersignatory is someone who can sign and verify the identity of a passport applicant, and can be a doctor, lawyer, or other professional. In order to become a countersignatory, the professional must be deemed to have enough knowledge of the passport applicant to verify their identity. This means that they must have known the applicant for at least two years and have seen them in person in that time, or have a reasonable belief that they know the applicant well enough to vouch for them.
The demand for doctors to act as countersignatories has become so great that many surgeries are now unable to keep up with the number of requests they are receiving. This has resulted in many surgeries making the decision to stop taking on countersignatory duties. This is due to the fact that these duties take up valuable time and resources within a surgery, and it is simply not feasible for them to keep up with the increasing demand.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that passport applications can take up to six weeks to process. This means that doctors are often having to set aside a significant amount of time to sign and verify the identities of passport applicants, which can be very time-consuming and takes away from other important duties that doctors need to perform.
It is important to note that doctors are not the only professionals who can act as countersignatories. Other professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, can also sign passport applications, and it is advised that applicants contact their local passport office to find out which professionals are eligible to act as countersignatories in their area.
In conclusion, the high demand for doctors to act as countersignatories for passport applications has put a lot of strain on surgeries across the UK, and as a result, some doctors have been forced to stop taking on this duty. It is important to note that there are other professionals who can act as countersignatories, you can see a list of these here