To countersign a document means to sign a paper that has already been signed by someone else. In the case of a UK passport application, the countersignature can only be executed by a specific person and is required to vouch for the authenticity of the application.
The countersignature is mandatory under Section 10 of the passport application form and on the back of one of the passport photos.
The individual who applies their signature to the application form and the photograph must:
For applications on behalf of a child, the counter signatory must also:
It is forbidden for the counter signatory to be:
Once the person applying has filled out all of the relevant sections of the application form, the person providing the second signature (or countersignature) needs to check that all details are true and accurate before completing and signing Section 10 by hand.
The counter signatory needs to provide their full address (business or home) and their relevant contact details.
Initials should be placed next to any errors or mistakes made in Section 10.
By filling out Section 10 and signing it this confirms that:
If you are lodging an application for a child passport the counter signatory must know the person who has parental responsibility over that child and who is signing the application form instead of the child, together with certifying the child's photo and signing it.
The provider of the second signature will be asked to write the following words on the back of one of the passport photographs provided to them:
I certify that this is a true likeness of the applicant [title and full name of the applicant].
The counter signatory must then be willing to add his or her signature by hand and the date of the signature below this short statement.