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Countersigning the application form and photo

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To countersign a document means to sign a paper that has already been signed by someone else. In the case of a UK passport application, the countersignature can only be executed by a specific person and is required to vouch for the authenticity of the application.

The countersignature is mandatory under Section 10 of the passport application form and on the back of one of the passport photos.

  • First Adult Passport
  • Second Passport
  • Passport Renewal for a child who is not yet 11 years old or when the way the person looks has changed so significantly that they can no longer be recognised from his/her most recent passport.
  • When a lost, damaged or stolen passport needs replacing.
  • When a passport's expiry date needs to be extended.

How to countersign

Who can countersign your document

The individual who applies their signature to the application form and the photograph must:

  • have known or had contact with the applicant for at least the last two years.
  • can easily identify the applicant.
  • has a residence in the UK.
  • Is in possession of a valid, current British or Irish passport. When applying for a passport from another country, an EU, US or Commonwealth passport will suffice but the person providing the second signature will need to hand in a colour photocopy of their main passport page, this is the page which contains their photo, personal details amd passport number. It is important that this photocopy is provided together with the countersigned application. It is likely that your application will be processed more quickly if your counter signatory has a British or Irish passport
  • Have an occupation in or be in retirement from a recognised professional industry such as the banking industry, the local police force, local government, the church, education, accountancy, engineering or law.
  • Be absolutely obliging and willing to be contacted if necessary, and be happy to provide his or her own passport number on your application form.

For applications on behalf of a child, the counter signatory must also:

  • Acknowledge and confirm that they have been a regular acquaintance of the person or parent who has signed Section 9 of the application form for at least the last 2 years. The provider of the countersignature must also state firmly that this person has parental responsibility for the child and confirm that the child's photo is an accurate representation of the child.

It is forbidden for the counter signatory to be:

  • a relation of the applicant/li>
  • married to the applicant, living with them or in a relationship with them
  • Someone who works for His Majesty's Passport Office.

Countersigning a passport application form and photograph

The application form

Once the person applying has filled out all of the relevant sections of the application form, the person providing the second signature (or countersignature) needs to check that all details are true and accurate before completing and signing Section 10 by hand.

The counter signatory needs to provide their full address (business or home) and their relevant contact details.

Initials should be placed next to any errors or mistakes made in Section 10.

By filling out Section 10 and signing it this confirms that:

  • the person applying for the passport and the counter signatory have been known to one another for at least 2 years.
  • the person applying for the passport is the same person who he or she claims they are
  • As far as the person providing the second signature knows, all the information on the form is correct and true at the time of providing the signature.

If you are lodging an application for a child passport the counter signatory must know the person who has parental responsibility over that child and who is signing the application form instead of the child, together with certifying the child's photo and signing it.

The passport photo

The provider of the second signature will be asked to write the following words on the back of one of the passport photographs provided to them:

I certify that this is a true likeness of the applicant [title and full name of the applicant].

The counter signatory must then be willing to add his or her signature by hand and the date of the signature below this short statement.

Additional information

  • Be aware that the passport office will run checks that the counter signatory is genuine by checking some of the information provided including, identity, profession or qualifications.
  • It is important that the counter signatory is informed that the passport office may contact them if necessary in order to perform these checks.
  • If the passport office is not satisfied with your choice of person for the second signature, or for any reason cannot reach the counter signatory, they are likely to ask you to complete a new application form with a different person providing the countersignature.

Check the application process for a Second Passport and order online


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*Disclaimer: We are a private company and this is a commercial website to apply for a passport applications. You will be charged a fee for using our services. You are also able to apply directly through the His Majesty's Passport Office where you will not pay any additional service fees. Should you wish to apply directly with the embassy you may do so here