Who Can Sign a Passport Photo in the UK?

Who Can Sign a Passport Photo in the UK?

Imagine this: a candidate is finishing up their United Kingdom passport application and preparing to submit it. They have recently had their passport photo taken and are prepared to attach it to the form. However, there is one more thing they might have to do: have the picture signed. 

There are restrictions on who can sign a passport photo in the United Kingdom, so not just anyone can do it.

Continue reading for information on how to locate a person who can sign a passport photo on your behalf.

With our assistance, you’ll feel much more confident about applying for a British passport because you’ll be prepared with the ideal countersignatory.

When does a British passport photo need to be certified?

First of all: who has to get a passport photo signed? Any citizen of the UK applying for their first passport (adult or child passport). Given how much a child’s looks may vary as they get older, renewing a child’s passport when they are 11 (eleven) or younger will also require a countersignatory for the photo.

If the applicant’s appearance has changed significantly or if the current passport has been damaged, lost, or stolen, it is also necessary for the passport photo to be verified.

The UK Government may get in touch with the chosen countersignatory to ask for more details. Make sure you ask them beforehand to confirm that they are okay with this.

Now, let’s get into what professions can validate a passport picture.

Who can certify your British passport photo?

A set of official rules governing who is and isn’t permitted to be a countersignatory are available from the HM Passport Office. The chosen candidate must be:

  • at least 18 (eighteen) years old;
  • a resident of the UK;
  • in possession of a current British or Irish passport;
  • familiar with the candidate and have known them for at least 2 (two) years.

A potential countersignatory must also be a “person of good standing,” or  they must be employed by or have retired from a recognized profession, as will be explained in more detail below.

Moreover, there are restrictions on who can serve as a countersignatory set forth by the Passport Office. They cannot be:

  • residing at the same address as the applicant;
  • relatives or in a de facto relationship with the candidate. 

Doctors and employees of the Passport Office are likewise prohibited from signing passport images unless they are close friends with you.

Who can sign a passport photo for a child in the UK?

When a child’s passport photo needs to be countersigned, the same guidelines that apply to adult passport photos must be followed. 

In this instance, the countersignatory cannot be the child’s parent, guardian, or any other relative. It is crucial to confirm that they are familiar with the minor, can attest to their identity, and are engaged in one of the approved lines of work.

These rules also apply when requesting a passport for a newborn.

What professions can sign a passport photo in the UK?

The HM Passport Office provides a detailed list of authorized professions for people you can ask to countersign. Pay attention to these because if the applicant’s decision is deemed unsuitable, they may be required to find another countersignatory. 

Among the accepted professions there are:

  • Airline pilots
  • Articled clerks or accountants
  • Auctioneers
  • Building society workers or bankers
  • Chairmen, directors, or CEOs of a limited or VAT-registered company
  • Chiropodists
  • Dentists
  • Engineers (professionally qualified)
  • Financial service workers
  • Funeral directors
  • Insurance or assurance agents
  • Journalists
  • Lawyers, solicitors, barristers, or judges
  • Local government officials
  • Members of any recognized professional body
  • Members of Parliament
  • Nurses
  • Officials of the post office
  • Officers of any branch of the armed forces
  • Officers of the Merchant Navy
  • Officers of the Salvation Army
  • Opticians
  • People awarded with a knighthood, OBE, or MBE
  • Pharmacists
  • Professional photographers
  • Police officers or firefighters
  • Pub licensees
  • Recognised religion officials
  • Registered paralegals or legal secretaries
  • Secretaries or presidents of any recognized organization
  • Social workers
  • Surveyors
  • Trade Union officers
  • Travel Agents
  • Warrant Officers.

Quick UK passport photos with PhotoAiD

Finding someone that can sign your photo and application form is a crucial part of the process. However, applicants still need to pay close attention to the official requirements provided by the Passport Service. Thankfully, PhotoAiD can assist you in getting perfect pictures for the application.

With our app, used by more than a million people, UK passport holders can forget about the usual problems of getting new British passport photos:

  • You’ll get exactly the passport photo dimensions you need. Our software can adapt the image to the size of any document you choose. The perfect photo will be ready in just 3 seconds.
  • Digital passport photos are always included. Once you take a picture, we can send the file via email immediately, ready to be uploaded to the passport online service.
  • You get unlimited tries. We’d all like to look good in our passport picture and, with PhotoAiD®, it’s possible to take all the snaps you need until you get the perfect photo.

In the extremely unlikely case that your UK passport photo is rejected, we will reimburse you 200% of what you paid. That’s how confident we are in our service. It’s okay if you don’t want a digital photo! A classic paper photo print can be delivered right to your door by mail. It doesn’t get any easier than this.


To wrap up, we’ll answer a few questions about signing British passport photos.

Who can identify a child’s passport photo?

A child’s passport photo can be countersigned by an adult resident of the UK who is at least 18 (eighteen) years old, a bearer of a British or Irish passport, and a “person of good standing” who is not connected to the child or presently residing at the same address as the child. They must also be familiar with the child well enough to be able to confirm their identity.

The same guidelines apply when you need to countersign a baby’s passport photo.

Can a friend sign a passport photo in the UK?

Yes, the government regulations clearly state that a friend may sign your passport photo with the exception that you must make sure they satisfy all other necessary requirements. For instance, they cannot be your roommate or be involved in a romantic connection with you at the moment.

Who can sign a passport photo for a UK driving licence?

People who can countersign a UK driving licence must follow the same guidelines as those who can countersign photos for UK passport applications.

Can a cousin sign a British passport photo?

No, the guarantor cannot be a family member.

Can an uncle sign a UK passport application?

No, the rules given by the UK Passport Office specify that the person applying and the person who countersigns cannot be related by birth or marriage.

Can a stepparent countersign a British passport photo?

No, as a relative by marriage, a stepparent cannot sign the photos for a UK passport.

Can a  UK Post Office worker sign my passport photo?

Yes, Post Officials are among the professions accepted by the HM Passport Office, as long as they meet the other requirements.

Can the Post Office countersign my passport photo in the UK?

A Post Official can put their signature on your British passport photo, however, it cannot be done as a part of the Check and Send process.

Can a retired police officer sign a UK  passport application?

Yes, police officers can sign British passport photos and the rules also apply to retired professionals.

Can a GP sign a British  passport application?

According to the HM Passport Office, it’s possible only if they can state that they know the applicant well outside of the doctor-patient relationship.

Can a hairdresser sign my passport in the UK?

No, hairdressers are not included in the professions acceptable by the HM Passport Office.

Can teaching assistants sign British passports?

No, only teachers and lecturers can sign a UK passport photo.

Who can witness an Irish passport application in the UK?

According to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the identity verification form needs to be signed by a person in one of the following professions:
– Accountant
– Bank or credit union manager
– Chartered engineer
– Dentist
– Doctor
– Clergy member
– Elected public representative
– Lawyer 
– Lecturer 
– Notary public or commissioner for oaths
– Nurse 
– Peace commissioner
– Pharmacist
– Physiotherapist
– Police officer 
– School worker
– Speech therapist
– Veterinarian.

What happens if you know no one who can countersign your British passport?

There is an alternative if finding someone to certify a passport photo proves to be impossible. In this circumstance, UK nationals are permitted by the Passport Office to submit a signed declaration stating that they are unable to locate a countersignatory and that the information provided in their application is accurate to the best of their knowledge.

Closing remarks

Now that you are aware of who to contact for a countersignatory, determine which members of your social network are qualified to sign your British passport photo. 

Let them know that the government may contact them for extra information; you want them to be prepared for the call from the passport officials. Use PhotoAiD® to rapidly receive a new passport picture that is ready for signing if you need to get it sorted out right away.

Once everything is in order, the government can confirm your identity and send your new passport to you as soon as possible.