Countersigning passport applications and photos

Accepted occupations for countersignatories

Your countersignatory must either:

  • work in (or be retired from) a recognised profession
  • be ‘a person of good standing in their community’

Recognised professions

Examples of recognised professions include:

  • accountant
  • airline pilot
  • articled clerk of a limited company
  • assurance agent of recognised company
  • bank or building society official
  • barrister
  • chairman or director of a limited company
  • chiropodist
  • commissioner for oaths
  • councillor, for example 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 (full time) of a recognised company
  • 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 (RGN or RMN)
  • officer of the armed services
  • optician
  • paralegal (certified paralegal, qualified paralegal or associate member of the Institute of Paralegals)
  • person with honours, for example an 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 members of the incorporated society)
  • Warrant Officers and Chief Petty Officers

Professions that are not accepted

Your countersignatory cannot:

  • work for HM Passport Office
  • be a doctor, unless they state that they know you well (for example they’re a good friend) and that they recognise you easily from your photo

You’ll be asked to find someone else if your countersignatory does not meet the requirements.

It’s a criminal offence to make a false declaration on a passport application.

If you’re not sure who to ask to be your countersignatory

Call the Passport Adviceline.