Please note that the DBS have recently made some changes to the ID checking rules, so any of our clients who have not applied for checks recently may wish to read through the guidance carefully.

Acceptable ID

When applying for a Disclosure, every applicant must prove that they are who they say they are by presenting a range of documents that prove their identity. The documents that the DBS consider acceptable for this purpose are divided into three groups, based on how reliable and trustworthy they are. The groups are as follows:

Group 1 includes the most trustworthy documents, such as passports and UK birth certificates. Some of these documents may have to meet certain additional criteria to be considered Group 1 documents. For example, a birth certificate only counts as Group 1 if it was issued within 12 months of the applicant’s date of birth.

Group 2a includes documents issued by the government, such as marriage/civil partnership certificates. There is some overlap with Group 1, and some documents that don’t meet the strict requirements of Group 1 are acceptable as Group 2a documents. For example, all certified UK birth certificates are acceptable as Group 2a documents, regardless of when they were issued.

Group 2b includes documents that show the applicant’s financial and social history, such as bank statements, utility bills, or benefit statements.

For a full list of ID, divided by group, please see this link.

Following Routes

The DBS has laid out three different methods or “routes” for validating an applicant’s identity, each with different requirements. All applicants should try to follow Route One wherever possible.

Route One

For Route One, the applicant must produce three documents as follows:

  • One document from Group 1.
  • Two further documents from any group. One of these documents must show the applicant’s current address.

Most applicants should be able to satisfy these requirements. Those who can't should use either Route Two or Route Three. However, people who are not EEA Nationals (people who are citizens of a country which is not part of the European Economic Area) must use Route One.

Additionally, people who are EEA Nationals who are following Route One must be able to produce either a Current Passport from any country, or a photocard version of a UK Driving Licence. If they cannot do so, you should discuss this with them and satisfy yourself that there is a valid reason for this before using Route Two. Please note that this restriction does not apply to EEA Nationals who have lived in the UK for longer than five years. It also does not apply to UK citizens who have spent time living abroad - only to citizens of EEA countries other than the UK.

Route Two

This route should only be used if an applicant cannot use Route One. For Route Two, an applicant must produce three documents as follows:

  • One document from Group 2a.
  • Two further documents from Group 2a or 2b. One of these documents must show the applicant’s current address.

The applicant will also need to go through an external ID check, which we can provide for you for an additional cost of £10. If you are using Route Two and need an external check, please include a note on your compliments slip or covering letter requesting one. We do not need any additional information other than that on the DBS form.

Route Three

This route should only be used if an applicant cannot use Route One or Route Two. Before using this route, you shold talk to the applicant and ensure they have valid reasons for not being able to produce sufficient ID. You should keep a record of this discussion for future reference. For Route Three, an applicant must produce five documents as follows:

  • A certified copy of a UK birth certificate.
  • One further document from Group 2a.
  • Three further documents from Group 2a or 2b. One of these documents must show the applicant’s current address.

If the applicant cannot provide these documents, they will need to go for fingerprinting.

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