Countersigning passport applications and photos

2. 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/building society official
  • barrister
  • chairman/director of limited company
  • chiropodist
  • commissioner for oaths
  • councillor, eg local or county
  • civil servant (permanent)
  • dentist
  • director/manager/personnel officer of a VAT-registered company
  • engineer - with professional qualifications
  • financial services intermediary, eg 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 public house
  • local government officer
  • manager/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, eg an OBE or MBE
  • pharmacist
  • photographer - professional
  • police officer
  • Post Office official
  • president/secretary of a recognised organisation
  • Salvation Army officer
  • social worker
  • solicitor
  • surveyor
  • teacher, lecturer
  • trade union officer
  • travel agent - qualified
  • valuer or auctioneer - fellows and associate members of the incorporated society
  • Warrant Officers and Chief Petty Officers

People who aren’t accepted

Your countersignatory can’t:

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

You’ll be asked to find someone else if your countersignatory doesn’t 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.