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DBS – Proving Your Identity

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One of the main stumbling blocks when applying for DBS checks is the identity checking stage. It should be easy to prove who you are, shouldn’t it? For most people it is indeed fairly simple. But the problem is often that the system is very rigid. There are lots of rules about what ID can be used to support an application, and what can’t be accepted. Problems with identification can hold up processing of your certificate, and in the worst-case scenario, could mean missing out on a job. It’s important to understand the rules and take steps to get more ID if you fall short.


Photographic ID

The whole idea behind proving your identity is matching the person to the documents. The best way of doing this is by providing photographic evidence linked to a trusted government document. Passports and driving licences are the best possible things to use for this. Only the government issues these documents. When you apply for a driving licence or passport, extensive checks are done into your identity. For people who are living in the UK but have a passport issued by another country, they can use that as proof of identity as long as it has not expired. Driving licences can only be accepted if they are issued by a country within the EU. Other trusted documents in this category are things like biometric residence permits, which again show your photograph along with other personal data.


Other ID

If you have both a passport and a driving licence, you won’t need to worry about other types of ID to prove your identity. But if you only have one, or neither, there are other options you may have to explore. There is another category of identity documents which the DBS call “trusted government documents”. These include things like an old paper driving licence without your photograph, a birth certificate, marriage certificate or a firearms licence. One of those, in conjunction with a passport or a driving licence should be enough to satisfy the DBS that you are who you say you are.


Document Rules

Whatever combination of identity documents you present to the DBS, there are a few rules which apply in all cases. All documents have to be valid; you can’t use a passport which has expired, or a driving licence which has been withdrawn because you’ve racked up too many points. You also need to present the originals of all of your documents. Photocopies or photographs cannot be accepted. If you live a long way from the person who is processing your DBS check, you might be able to get copies officially certified rather than sending the originals through the post, but this adds another step to the process.


Not Enough Documentation

One common problem is that people just don’t have the right ID. It’s quite common for a younger person not to have a driving licence or a passport, just a birth certificate. There are ways around this, but the best advice is to contact the DBS, tell them what you do have, and ask them how to proceed.