Common Mistakes on DBS Checks

Apply for a DBS Check

Everyone makes mistakes at some point. It’s unavoidable. On most occasions, mistakes are easily rectified and don’t have lasting consequences. Make mistakes on official documents though and mistakes might be harder to fix. This is especially the case when applying for passports or a DBS check. Mistakes made at the application stage can hold up your application. In the worst-case scenario, the delays could cost you a new job. Here are some of the most common errors, and how to avoid them.


Incomplete Address Information

When the DBS form says they need an address history going back at least five years, that’s exactly what you have to give. You must add every address you’ve lived at permanently over the five-year period, however many there are. You don’t need to list addresses of places you stayed on a short-term holiday, but must give all permanent addresses, including postcodes. Don’t leave gaps unexplained on your form. If you’re a student, add term time addresses and your home address if you return there over the summer. Use the DBS helpline to get advice on any unusual circumstances rather than guessing and hoping things will be all right.



In many ways, completing forms online has a huge number of advantages. For a start it’s quicker, you can log in when suits you, and you don’t have to trek to the post office with your completed form. However, even the most confident person on the keyboard can make mistakes. It’s easy to transpose letters in a prefix, or spell your own middle name wrongly. When your form hits the desk of someone at the DBS, your errors will mean they have to call or email you to confirm details. That’s just going to hold up your certificate. So, if you’re not great at spotting typos, get a friend to check your form before hitting the submit button.


Name Errors

When filling in your DBS form, you should also give all previous names you have used on your form. You should list your full name, including any middle names you may have. List any name changes you have had due to getting married or divorced. If you’ve switched between using first name or middle name, then list them both. Again, if you’re not sure about which names to list give the DBS a call on their helpline and get advice.


Document Errors

The DBS has some pretty strict rules about what sorts of documents you’ll need to support your DBS application and to prove who you are. Documents are classed into two main groups, and you’ll need to provide some information from both. Read the instructions carefully to make sure that you have the right combination of information. If you are struggling to find the correct combination of passport, driving licence, bank statements and utility bills, get advice from the DBS. Another document-related mistake is trying to provide photocopies or computer print outs. These can’t be accepted and only originals can be used.