WHO CAN SIGN A PASSPORT | February 2024
who can sign a passport

February 2024

Who Can Sign A Passport In February 2024

If you are applying for a British or Irish passport, it must be endorsed by someone who can attest to your identity. 

This individual, known as a countersignatory, must have known you for at least two years and be a member of a recognised profession. 

This article examines who can sign a passport, the eligibility requirements for countersignatories, and the categories of acceptable signatures.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

You can listen to an audio recording of this page below.

What is a Passport?

Before discussing who can endorse a passport, let’s define what a passport is. 

A passport is an official travel document that serves as proof of citizenship and permits international travel. It includes your photograph, identity, and other personal information.

Eligibility Requirements

A person must meet specific criteria to be eligible to sign a passport. They must be at least 18 years old and reside at your address. 

They must also possess a British or Irish passport and a valid passport photo.

Age of Applicant

The applicant’s age also plays a role in determining who can sign their passport. The countersignatory cannot be a family member or close acquaintance for adult passport applications.

Additionally, they must be a respected member of their community and able to verify the applicant’s identity.

For minor passport applications, slightly different rules apply. The countersignatory may be a family member or close acquaintance, but they must still satisfy all eligibility requirements. 

Additionally, they must provide their current passport name number and endorse the back of one of the child’s passport photos.

Legal Status

The countersignatory must be authorised to work in the United Kingdom. 

This means they must be a British citizen, a Commonwealth citizen with the ability to reside in the United Kingdom, or European Union or European Economic Area citizens. 

EU passports that are not Irish are also recognised.

Relationship to Applicant

As mentioned, the countersignatory for adult passport applications cannot be a relative or acquaintance. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and spouses’ relatives. 

Relatives and acquaintances can serve as countersignatories for minor child passport replacement applications, but they must still meet eligibility requirements.

Types of Signatures Accepted

The countersignatory must sign and write the following statement on the reverse of one of the passport photos: “I certify that this is an accurate likeness of [applicant’s name].”

Additionally, the countersignatory must sign and date the application.

Parental Consent for Minors

For minor passport applications, the permission of both parents or legal guardians is required. If one parent cannot consent, the other must provide proof of sole responsibility or legal guardianship. 

If neither parent can approve, the countersignatory can provide a signed statement.

If you are applying for a British or Irish passport, you must have it countersigned by someone who meets the eligibility requirements. The countersignatory must be a respected member of the community and a member of a recognised profession.

Additionally, they must be able to verify your identity and have known you for a minimum of two years. Based on our research, we advise you to meticulously adhere to the instructions provided by HM Passport Office to ensure the success of your application.

Who is eligible to sign a passport?

A passport cannot be signed by anyone who wishes. The individual who countersigns the passport must be a member of a recognised profession and of good standing in their community.

A valid British passport is required if the countersignatory is a British national. Additionally, the person countersigning the passport must have known the applicant personally for at least two years. 

Doctors, attorneys, legal secretaries, police officers, and retired police officers are examples of such occupations.

Do you have to sign for passport delivery UK?

Certainly, someone must be present to attest to passport delivery in the United Kingdom.

This ensures that the passport is delivered to the correct individual and is correctly placed and taken. When applying for a passport, you must provide an address where you or another individual will be present to sign the passport.

If no one is available to sign for the passport, a delivery card with instructions on rescheduling the delivery or collecting the passport from a local delivery or post office will be left at the address.

What is a Passport

How do I renew my expired passport?

To renew a passport that has expired, you must fill out a renewal form and submit a recent passport photo in colour that meets the requirements. The form for renewal can be completed either online or on paper.

If you are utilising the online passport service, you must have a digital photo of yourself that satisfies specific criteria. You must pay the renewal fee after submitting the completed renewal form and image. 

The processing time can differ based on the requested service, but receiving a renewed passport typically takes three weeks.

Can you travel to Europe without a passport from the UK?

No, you cannot travel to Europe without a British passport. British citizens must possess a legitimate passport to access any EU country.

In addition, the passport must be in excellent condition and have at least six months of validity remaining from the date of entry. 

Check the specific entry requirements for the country you intend to visit before departure to ensure you have the required documents and credentials.

"A passport is an official travel document that serves as proof of citizenship and permits international travel."

Who should sign the passport photo?

The person who countersigns the passport application must sign the passport photo. The countersignatory must have personally known the applicant for at least two years existing passport before.

In addition, the countersignatory must be a member of a recognised profession, such as a doctor, lawyer, or police officer, and have a high reputation in their community. 

On the reverse of the photo, the countersignatory must also provide their contact information, including their name, address, and phone number.

Do both parents have to sign a child’s passport UK?

In the United Kingdom, only one guardian is required to approve a child’s passport application.

If one parent has primary parental responsibility, only that parent must sign the application. If both parents share the same level of parental responsibility, either parent may submit the child’s passport application. 

If one parent cannot sign the application, they must provide written permission for the other parent to offer the child’s passport.

Can a friend sign a passport?

No, an acquaintance cannot endorse an application for a passport. The purpose of the countersignature is to verify the applicant’s identity and provide assurance that the application information is accurate. 

The countersignatory must have personally known the applicant for at least two years. In addition, the countersignatory must be a member of a recognised profession.

Which professionals can sign a passport?

A passport can be signed by physicians, attorneys, peace legal secretaries, police officers, and retired police officers. 

Additionally, retired professionals may be eligible to countersign a passport or passport application. The applicant for a visa must know the countersignatory personally, and they cannot be related.

Who is a person of good standing in their community?

A person of high standing in their community is well-respected and relied upon within their local community. 

They are regarded as a trustworthy member of society and have a positive reputation. Regarding countersigning a passport application, the individual must be a respected community member.

What happens if you sign below the line on a passport?

When signing a passport, it is crucial to adhere to the guidelines provided by the British Passport Office. Signing below the line on a passport may be interpreted as an attempt to alter or falsify the document, which is prohibited.

In addition, it can cause delays in processing the passport application. Signing a passport requires meticulous adherence to the instructions provided by Her Majesty’s Passport Office.

What are the eligibility criteria for a person to sign the passport photo?

The countersignatory who signs the applicant’s passport photo must have known the applicant for at least two years and belong to a recognised profession. 

In addition, the countersignatory must be a well-respected community member with a stellar professional reputation. On the back of the photo, they must include their contact information, name, address, and phone number.

Can a UK driving licence be used as proof of identity for countersigning a passport?

No, a British driver’s licence cannot be used as identification when countersigning a passport.

To be eligible, the countersignatory must possess a legitimate British or Irish passport and a valid passport photo.

Can someone who is not a British citizen sign a British passport application?

No, a non-British citizen cannot endorse an application for a British passport. 

The countersignatory must be a British national, a Commonwealth citizen with the right to reside in the United Kingdom, or an EU or EEA national. EU passports other than the Irish are also accepted.

What are the requirements for obtaining a child’s passport photo?

A child’s passport photo must be in colour and adhere to the exact specifications as an adult’s.

The countersignatory must sign and provide their contact information, including their name, address, and phone number, on the reverse of one of the child’s passport photos. 

In addition, if the infant is under six, they must open their eyes and stare directly at the camera without any visible support.

Can a retired police officer sign a passport application?

A deceased police officer is permitted to endorse a passport application. They must also have known the applicant for at least two years and meet all eligibility requirements. 

Additionally, they must have a good standing in their community and a stellar reputation in their field.

Article author

Katy Davies

I am a keen reader and writer and have been helping to write and produce the legal content for the site since the launch.   I studied for a law degree at Manchester University and I use that theoretical experience, as well as my practical experience as a solicitor, to help produce legal content which I hope you find helpful.

Outside of work, I love the snow and am a keen snowboarder.  Most winters you will see me trying to get away for long weekends to the slopes in Switzerland or France.

Email – [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

What professions are recognised for passport countersignature in the UK?

Certain recognised professions in the United Kingdom qualify individuals to countersign passport applications. This category includes physicians, attorneys, legal secretaries, police officers, and retired police officers. In addition, professionals in retirement may be eligible to countersign passport applications. However, not just anyone in these professions can countersign a passport; the individual must have known the applicant personally for at least two years and have a solid reputation in their community.

Can a friend or family member sign a passport application in the UK?

An acquaintance or relative cannot countersign a passport application in the United Kingdom. To be eligible to countersign a passport application, they must possess a recognised profession, such as a doctor, lawyer, or police officer. The countersignatory must be a member of a reputable job and a respected community member. This means that they must have known the applicant for at least two years and be able to confirm their identity.

What happens if I sign below the line on a passport?

When signing a passport application, it is crucial to read and adhere to the instructions from Her Majesty’s Passport Office to ensure seamless and timely processing. Signing below the line on a passport application can result in rejection or delay of the application. It could be interpreted as an attempt to alter or falsify the document, which is prohibited.

What if I need to apply for a passport but need someone to countersign it?

You may still apply for a passport even if you don’t know anyone who can countersign. You must submit an identity verification form requiring additional identification documents. This may be time-consuming and result in a prolonged application processing time. It is advisable to locate a person who fulfils the countersignature requirements.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that this site is no longer under active management. As a result, we cannot assure the accuracy or relevance of the content provided. Visitors should use their discretion and consider the potential for outdated or inaccurate information before relying on any material found here.