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ID Checking Help

 Not sure which ID Documents are required for a DBS Check?

There’s lots of information on our website, designed to help you feel confident that you're are providing the correct information in your DBS application form.

Most of our customers use our Ebulk online facility to submit their Standard and Enhanced applications to us. We have noticed that the designated ‘ID Verifiers’ often ask; what are the relevant routes to take when confirming that they have seen and verified the applicants’ ID?

When the ID Verifier logs into their account, they will see a list of the applicants’ names whose ID needs to be verified. When you click on the applicants’ account – a list of ID documents appear. You then need to choose which documents you have seen; here are the options:

Route One

  • 3 documents from group 1
  • 2 documents from group 1 and 1 document from group 2
  • 1 document from group 1 and 2 documents from group 2

Please note: As long as you have 1 document from group 1 you can then select your other 2 documents from any group.

If the applicant has satisfied this route, then the ID checking process is complete.  If the applicant cannot produce a Group 1 document then go to Route Two.

Route Two

If the applicant fails to provide you with ID from the above options, we then need to go to Route 2 – which is an external ID check. If you need to do the Route 2 option, please call the office on 01254 355688 and we will assist you with this. The Route 2 option is when we use an external ID Checking company to search on their system to see if they can authenticate the applicant. If they can, the application will then be submitted to the DBS for processing.

Anyone who fails to be authenticated by the external ID checking organisation, needs to then follow Route 3 and will need to provide:

Route Three

  • Certified copy of a birth certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • 4 Further documents from Group 2 comprising of:
  • 1 document from Group 2a
  • 3 further documents from group 2a or 2b

What if I cannot establish the applicant’s ID using one of the three routes?

Should the applicant fail to produce the above then a fingerprint test will need to be completed with the police and a paper application completed. Customers should be aware that this will require attendance by the applicant at a Police Station at an appointed time, and may add delay into the overall application process.

If you have any further questions about the DBS ID checking process for Standard and Enhanced checks, please don’t hesitate to call our office on 01254 355688

Group 1 – Primary Trusted Identity Credentials

  • Current Driving Licence Photo Card (UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EU)
  • Current Valid Passport
  • Birth Certificate issued at time of birth (UK) - (not available for Post Office verification)
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK)

Group 2a – Trusted Government/State Issued Documents

  • Current Driving Licence Photo Card (All other countries)
  • Old Style Paper Driving Licence (UK/Isle Of Man/Channel Islands and EU)
  • Birth Certificate – issued after time of birth (UK & Channel Islands) - (not available for Post Office verification)
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate (UK) - (not available for Post Office verification)
  • HM Forces ID Card (UK)
  • Fire Arms Licence UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

Group 2b – Financial/Social History Documents

  • Mortgage Statement (UK or EEA) (issued in the last 12 months)
  • Bank/Building Society Statement (UK or EEA) (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Bank/Building Society Account Opening Confirmation Letter (UK) (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Credit Card Statement (UK or EEA) (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Financial Statement - eg. pension, endowment, ISA (issued in the last 12 months)
  • P45 or P60 Statement UK - (issued in the last 12 months)
  • Council Tax Statement (UK) (issued in the last 12 months)
  • Work Permit/Visa (UK) (UK Residence Permit)
  • Letter of Sponsorship from future employment provider (Non-UK/Non-EEA only - valid only for applicants residing outside of the UK at time of application)
  • Utility Bill (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Benefit Statement - eg. Child Allowance, Pension (issued in the last 3 months)
  • A document from Central/ Local Government/ Government Agency/ Local Authority giving entitlement (UK & Channel Islands)*- eg. from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, Customs & Revenue, Job Centre, Job Centre Plus, Social Security (issued in the last 3 months)
  • EU National ID Card – must be valid
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo (UK) – must be valid
  • Letter from Head Teacher or College Principal (16-19 year olds in full-time education - only used in exceptional circumstances when all other documents have been exhausted)


Always check for signs of tampering when checking identity documents. Documents should be queried if they display any signs of damage, especially in the areas of personal details such as the name and the photograph. The following guidelines should help you look out for any suspicious signs when authenticating documents.

1A ) How can I check Driving Licences?
Do not accept licenses, other than those stated in the list of Valid Identity Documents. English, Welsh and Scottish driving licence numbers contain information about the applicant’s name, sex and date of birth.

This information is written in a special format but can be gleaned and matched against the information provided by the applicant in Section A.

Please note that the date of birth on English, Welsh and Scottish driving licences, issued before 1977, is not recorded as a separate entry on the licence. The date of birth can be deciphered from the driving licence number and checked against the date of birth field on the application form.

Please note, for Northern Ireland; Isle of Man and Jersey driving licences the licence number is in a different format. The licence number is unique to the driver and the ‘name’ or ‘date of birth’ validation, as shown above, cannot be used.

1B) Checking an old style driving licence (no photograph)
Remove the document from the plastic wallet and check that it is printed on both sides. It should have a watermark visible by holding the licence up to the light and there should be no punctuation marks in the name or address. The ‘Valid To’ date should be the day before the bearer’s 70th birthday (unless the bearer is already over 70).  The ‘Valid To’ date can therefore be cross-referenced with the applicant’s date of birth detailed in Section A.

2) Checking a passport
Check the general quality and condition of the passport. Treat it with suspicion if it is excessively damaged; accidental damage is often used to conceal tampering. Photographs should be examined closely for signs of damage to the laminate or for excessive glue or slitting of the laminate; these signs would indicate photo substitution. If the photograph appears excessively large, this might indicate an attempt to hide another photograph underneath. There should also be an embossed strip embedded into the laminate, which will catch a portion of the photograph.

Check there is no damage to this area. If the passport is from a foreign national, you can still follow the same general procedures as above.

3) Checking a birth certificate
Birth certificates are not evidence of identity, and are easily obtained. Although certificates issued at the time of birth may give more confidence that it belongs to the individual, unlike a recently issued certificate  they will not show if any information has been corrected or superceded  by a new registration.

Check the quality of paper used; genuine certificates use a high grade. There should be a watermark visible when the document is held up to the light.  Any signs of smoothness on the surface would indicate that original text might have been washed or rubbed away. There should be no signs of tampering, changes using liquid paper, overwriting or spelling mistakes.

The following list provides some general information about certificate completion which may help to establish whether the certificate and/or the details have been falsified. This is provided solely as a guide and is not exhaustive:

  • The certificate format used should be appropriate for the year of registration
  • Only the surname should be entered in upper case, not the forename(s)
  • Dates of birth should be shown with the day and month in words and the year in figures

The following information might indicate that the certificate has been altered:
Spacing between falsely added particulars might be irregular compared to original information. ‘Thick’ or ‘thin’ spacing might infer particulars have been added

  • False particulars might not have been aligned with other words
  • Characters may not be of the same size or shape with the rest of the particulars
  • Movement of handwriting may look mechanical and does not flow with the rest of the particulars
  • Changes might not be consistent e.g. parents’ surnames might be altered, but not the signatures
  • The area around falsely added or removed particulars may react differently under an ultra violet light i.e. show signs of staining. In addition, such areas of paper may appear thinner where the paper fibres have been disturbed by abrasion

4) Checking an EU photo identity card
Examine the card for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.

5) Checking an HM Forces ID card
Examine the card for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.

6) Checking a firearms licence
Check the licence is printed on blue security paper with a Royal crest watermark and a feint pattern stating the words ‘Home Office’. Examine the licence for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details, which should include home address and date of birth. The licence should be signed by the holder and bear the authorising signature of the chief of police for the area in which they live, or normally a person to whom his authority has been delegated.

7) Other forms of identification
Ensure all letters and statements are recent, i.e. within a three month period. Do not accept documentation printed from the internet. Check letter headed paper is used, bank headers are correct and all documentation looks genuine. The address should be cross-referenced with that quoted in Section B.

8) What if the applicant has been adopted?
Customers should inform applicants that if they were adopted before the age of 10, they do not need to provide their surname at birth in Section A of the DBS application form, they should give their adoptive name in this section.

This is because the age of criminal responsibility is deemed to be 10 years, under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, Chapter 12, Section 50. This means that there is no possibility that an individual could have a criminal record in a name that was used until the age of 10.

9) What if the applicant has changed their name recently and cannot provide ID documents in this new name?
Documents in a previous name can be accepted ONLY where the applicant can provide documentation supporting a recent change because of:

  • marriage/civil partnership (marriage/civil partnership certificate)
  • divorce/civil partnership dissolution (decree absolute/civil partnership dissolution certificate)
  • deed poll (Deed Poll certificate)

In these instances, you must:

  1. Return a ‘Continuation Sheet’ with the application form clearly stating;
  • current and previous names
  • date of the change
  • reason for the change
  • the document you have seen to support this change

Ensure that all ‘Previous names’ and ‘Dates used’ are recorded in Section A (Additional Personal Details)

10) What should a customer do if they suspect false identity or documents?
If you suspect that you have been presented with a false identity or documents at the time of application, do not proceed with the application process. Please contact Personnel Checks immediately.

Make sure ID Verification Has Been Carried Out Correctly

The ‘Registered Body Use Only’ boxes in sections A and B are for the designated verifier within your company to cross, to confirm what ID documents you have seen from the applicant.

The boxes correspond with the questions on the left, for example, the first box to cross says A1-A3 verified, which relate to Title, Surname and Forename – once you have seen a piece of ID that confirms all three of those, you cross the box.

We provide specific Verifier Guidance Notes to help you with this, but if you have any questions and are stuck with any part of the form please don’t hesitate to call our friendly advisors on 01254 355688 who will help you.