Who can be my countersignatory for my passport application?

Whether a countersignatory is required for your British passport application depends on a couple of factors

2 November 2020
Online passport applications require a digital photo but no countersignatory is needed
By Connexion journalist

Reader question: I am not able to renew my British passport from France as I do not know any “professional” person to give a countersignature. Is there a solution? 

First, if you can apply online, you do not need a countersignatory as this process relates only to paper applications.

Online applications require a digital photo but no countersignatory is needed.

It is possible to take a photo during your application, if using a device that can take photos, or use a photo shop or booth.

Paper applications are required if you are applying for the first time for an adult passport, applying for a replacement for a lost, stolen or damaged passport, or renewing in the case of your appearance having changed so much you cannot be recognised from the previous passport photo. In these cases, your paper form and one of the two passport photos must be signed by a “countersignatory” to certify that the photo is of you.

If you need a countersignatory, they should be in a “professional” job and of “good standing in the community”. A recommended list is available at Countersigning passport applications and photos on the British government website.

A spokeswoman for HM Passport Office said the person does not need to be a friend but must have known you for at least two years and be able to identify you from your face. It could be a neighbour, colleague or a professional you have worked with or who has met you over the last two years and has “enough of a relationship with you to identify you” (eg. a solicitor).

The person should have a current British, Irish, EU, US or Commonwealth passport, and if they are not British or Irish, you should include a colour photocopy of their passport, open on the photograph page.

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