British passport application or renewal: the role of countersignatory

Due to heightened security concerning British passports there is an extra person that has been included in the passport application procedure in order to provide an extra confirmation ensuring that the applicant is the exact same person who is applying for the passport and that person is called countersignatory. Let’s see why this role is important and what exactly his or her tasks are during the application process.

The key role of the countersignatory is to countersign the application form for the British passport and also to countersign photographs included with the application form.

Which exact application processes need a countersignatory included:

Who can be your countersignatory:

It’s important to note that a countersignatory cannot be one of the below:

This leads to the conclusion that the countersignatory should be either a not too close friend, an acquaintance, a neighbor or anyone with closer relations to the person who knows him or her for over two years and who is willing to confirm the identity of the applicant with his or her signature.

There are of course other conditions a countersignatory should suit:

How exactly should the countersignatory act?

The countersignatory must check and confirm that all data provided on the application form is correct. They have the sign the form on the exact place which is held for the countersignatory to sign. With their signature the countersignatory legally commits himself or herself that they can confirm the applicant is really the person who they say they are and confirm with their signature that the information provided by them is true according to their best knowledge. The signature must be further supported by their own valid passport number too.

How to countersign the passport photos of the applicant?

The countersignatory has to write a specific sentence on the back of each photo ( see gov.uk website for the exact sentence and/or call the British Passport Customer Services Number for further information) confirming the applicant’s identity and sign the photo.

It must be noted that government officials may contact the countersignatory if they have any further questions or suspicions for further questioning.