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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.

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:

Three routes of ID checking

Route 1

The applicant must be able to show:

  • One document from Group 1, below
  • 2 further documents from either Group 1, or Group 2a or 2b, below

At least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address.

If the applicant isn’t a national of the UK or the EEA and is applying for voluntary work they may need to be fingerprinted if they can’t show these documents.

Route 2

Route 2 can only be used if it’s impossible to process the application through Route 1.

If the applicant isn’t a national of the UK or the EEA and is applying for voluntary work they can’t use Route 2.

If the applicant doesn’t have any of the documents in Group 1, then they must be able to show:

  • One document from Group 2a
  • 2 further documents from either Group 2a or 2b

At least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address. The organisation conducting their ID check must then also use an appropriate external ID validation service to check the application.

EEA nationals who’ve been resident in the UK for 5 years or less may need to be fingerprinted if they can’t show these documents.

Route 3

Route 3 can only be used if it’s impossible to process the application through Routes 1 or 2.

EEA nationals who’ve been resident in the UK for 5 years or less can’t use Route 3.

For Route 3, the applicant must be able to show:

  • A birth certificate issued after the time of birth (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) and
  • One document from Group 2a and
  • 3 further documents from Group 2a or 2b

At least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address. If the applicant can’t provide these documents they may need to be fingerprinted.

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 is very likely to add a 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

ID documents for applicants who are EEA Nationals:

Group 1

  • Current Driving Licence Photo Card (UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EU)
  • Valid Passport
  • Original Birth Certificate (UK) - Not valid for Post Office verification
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)

Group 2a

  • Birth Certificate issued after time of birth (UK, Isle of Man & Channel Islands) - Not valid for Post Office verification
  • Current Driving Licence Photo Card (All countries outside the EEA excluding Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
  • Paper Driving Licence (UK/Isle Of Man/Channel Islands and EU) If issued before 1998
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate (UK and Channel Islands) - Not valid for Post Office verification
  • HM Forces ID Card (UK)
  • Firearms Licence (UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
  • Immigration Document, visa or work permit. Issued by a country outside the EEA. Valid only for roles whereby the applicant is living and working outside of the UK. Visa/permit must relate to the non EEA country in which the role is based

Group 2b

  • Mortgage Statement (UK or EEA) (issued in the past 12 months)
  • Bank or Building Society Statement (UK, Channel Islands or EEA) (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Bank or Building Society Statement (Countries outside the EEA) (issued in the last 3 months - branch must be in the country where the applicant lives and works)
  • 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 e.g. pension, endowment, ISA (issued in the past 12 months)
  • P45 / P60 statement (UK and Channel Islands) (issued in the past 12 months)
  • Council Tax Statement (UK and Channel Islands) (issued in the past 12 months)
  • Letter of Sponsorship from future employment provider (Non-UK/Non-EEA only) (Valid only for applicants residing outside the UK at the time of the application)
  • Utility Bill (UK) Mobile telephone bills not acceptable (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Benefit Statement e.g. child allowance, pension (issued in the last 3 months)
  • EU National ID Card
  • Central/Local Government/Government Agency/Local council document giving entitlement, for example Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, HMRC (UK and Channel Islands) (issued in the last 3 months)
  • EEA National ID Card
  • Irish Passport Card (Cannot be used with an Irish passport) (must be valid)
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation Logo (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
  • Letter from a 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

Non EAA Nationals - Acceptable ID Documents

An applicant who wants to do paid work and is not a national of the UK or EEA must be able to show 1 Primary Document and 2 supporting documents. 

Primary Documents:

  • A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
  • A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  • A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  • A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  • A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question.
  • A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder which indicates that the named person can currently stay in the UK and is allowed to do the work in question.
  • A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence.
  • A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  • A Certificate of Application issued by the Home Office under regulation 17(3) or 18A (2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, to a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland stating that the holder is permitted to take employment which is less than 6 months old together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  • An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office stating that the holder is permitted to take the employment in question, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  • A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer, which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question.

Group 1

  • Current Driving Licence Photo Card (UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EU)
  • Valid Passport
  • Original Birth Certificate (UK) - Not valid for Post Office verification
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)

Group 2a

  • Birth Certificate issued after time of birth (UK, Isle of Man & Channel Islands) - Not valid for Post Office verification
  • Current Driving Licence Photo Card (All countries outside the EEA excluding Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
  • Paper Driving Licence (UK/Isle Of Man/Channel Islands and EU) If issued before 1998
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate (UK and Channel Islands) - Not valid for Post Office verification
  • HM Forces ID Card (UK)
  • Firearms Licence (UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
  • Immigration Document, visa or work permit. Issued by a country outside the EEA. Valid only for roles whereby the applicant is living and working outside of the UK. Visa/permit must relate to the non EEA country in which the role is based

Group 2b

  • Mortgage Statement (UK or EEA) (issued in the past 12 months)
  • Bank or Building Society Statement (UK, Channel Islands or EEA) (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Bank or Building Society Statement (Countries outside the EEA) (issued in the last 3 months - branch must be in the country where the applicant lives and works)
  • 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 e.g. pension, endowment, ISA (issued in the past 12 months)
  • P45 / P60 statement (UK and Channel Islands) (issued in the past 12 months)
  • Council Tax Statement (UK and Channel Islands) (issued in the past 12 months)
  • Letter of Sponsorship from future employment provider (Non-UK/Non-EEA only) (Valid only for applicants residing outside the UK at the time of the application)
  • Utility Bill (UK) Mobile telephone bills not acceptable (issued in the last 3 months)
  • Benefit Statement e.g. child allowance, pension (issued in the last 3 months)
  • EU National ID Card
  • Central/Local Government/Government Agency/Local council document giving entitlement, for example Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, HMRC (UK and Channel Islands) (issued in the last 3 months)
  • EEA National ID Card
  • Irish Passport Card (Cannot be used with an Irish passport) (must be valid)
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation Logo (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands)
  • Letter from a 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.

Checking driving licences

Do not accept licences, 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.

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.

For example, the format of the number for Christine Josephine Robinson, born 2 July 1975

R O B I N 7 5 7 0 2 5 C J 9 9 9 0 1

N N N N N Y M M D D Y I I C C C C C

N = 1st five letters of the surname (if the surname begins MAC or MC it is treated as MC for all).

Y = YEAR of birth.

M = MONTH of birth (In the case of a female, the number represented by the first M will have the value 5 added to the first digit e.g. a female born in November (i.e. 11) would display ‘61’ in the MM boxes or if born in February (i.e. 02) would display ‘52’).

D = DAY of month of birth.

I = Initial letter of the first two forenames - if only one, then 9 will replace the second letter. If the licence indicates that the applicant has a middle name, ensure that one has been provided in Section A.

C = Computer generated.

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.

How do I check for indicators of fraud?

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. The National Document Fraud Unit (NDFU) in the Home Office has published guidance on examining identity documents to detect basic forgeries.

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 procedures as above.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office has produced a guide to be used when checking passports for identification.

Checking a photo driving licence

Examine the licence for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.

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.

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 superseded 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 ultraviolet 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.

For more information on checking birth certificates, please refer to Her Majesty’s Passport Office document General Register Office guide to birth certificates.

Checking an EEA photo identity card

Examine the card for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.

Checking an HM Forces ID card

Examine the card for evidence of photo tampering or any amendment of the printed details.

Checking a firearms licence

Check the licence is printed on blue security paper with a Royal crest watermark and a faint 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.

Checking a biometric residence permit

View the features of a permit and how to check a job applicant’s biometric residence permit to see if they have a right to work in the UK.

Other types of ID

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 provided by the applicant.