Confirming someone’s identity

Who can confirm someone’s identity

For some applications, HM Passport Office needs someone to confirm the applicant’s identity. This helps protect their identity and check the application belongs to the right person.

To confirm someone’s identity online, you need to:

  • be 18 or older
  • and work in or be retired from a recognised profession

You must also be either:

  • a current UK passport holder living in the UK - if the applicant lives in and is applying from the UK
  • a current UK, Irish or other EU, US or Commonwealth passport holder - if the applicant lives and is applying from outside the UK

If you’re not a UK or Irish passport holder it will take longer for us to process the application.

You need to have known the applicant, or the person making the application, personally for at least 2 years – for example as a friend, neighbour or colleague.

You must not be related, in a relationship with or living at the same address as the applicant or the person making the application.

Recognised professions

You must work in or be retired from a recognised profession and know the applicant personally.

Examples of recognised professions include:

  • accountant
  • airline pilot
  • articled clerk of a limited company
  • assurance agent of a recognised company
  • bank or building society official
  • barrister
  • chairman or director of a limited company
  • chiropodist
  • commissioner for oaths
  • councillor - local or county
  • civil servant - permanent
  • dentist
  • director, manager or personnel officer of a VAT-registered company
  • engineer with professional qualifications
  • financial services intermediary, for example a stockbroker or insurance broker
  • fire service official
  • funeral director
  • insurance agent of a recognised company - full time
  • journalist
  • Justice of the Peace
  • legal secretary - fellow or associate member of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs
  • licensee of a public house
  • local government officer
  • manager or personnel officer of a limited company
  • member, associate or fellow of a professional body
  • Member of Parliament
  • Merchant Navy Officer
  • minister of a recognised religion including Christian Science
  • nurse - registered
  • officer of the armed services
  • optician
  • paralegal - certified, qualified or associate member of the Institute of Paralegals
  • person with honours - OBE or MBE
  • pharmacist
  • photographer - professional
  • police officer
  • Post Office official
  • president or secretary of a recognised organisation
  • Salvation Army Officer
  • social worker
  • solicitor
  • surveyor
  • teacher or lecturer
  • trade union officer
  • travel agent - qualified
  • valuer or auctioneer - fellow or associate member of the incorporated society
  • Warrant Officer or Chief Petty Officer

Professions that are not accepted

You cannot confirm someone’s identity if you:

  • are a doctor, unless you state you know the applicant well (for example they’re a good friend) and you recognise them easily from their photo
  • work for HM Passport Office
  • work at UK Visas and Immigration and are involved with applications for British citizenship or right of abode in the UK