The process of countersigning a document is when a paper is signed by somebody when that paper has already had a signature from somebody else. In the United Kingdom passport application process, the person providing the second signature has to fulfil certain criteria as well as confirm the authenticity of the passport application.
Under Section 10 of the passport application form, as well as on the back of one of the applicant's passport photos, this second signature is a necessary requirement in all of the following cases
The person who provides the second signature on the application form and the passport photo must:
For applications for children the second signature provider must also:
The counter signatory is unable to perform this duty if they are:
All details on the application form must be checked by the counter signatory once it has been fully completed. When signing and completing the form in Section 10 the counter signatory is confirming that all the details are correct.
The provider of the second signature (the counter signatory) needs to fill in their complete address and all other contact details that the form requires. The address can be from a business or from home, but the counter signatory must be available at this address.
The provider of the second signature needs to insert their initials beside any errors they might make in Section 10.
The counter signatory is confirming the following bullet points when they sign and complete Section 10.
For applications for children, the person providing the second signature must be fully acquainted with the person in the parental role who is signing the application form rather than the child the application is for, along with confirming the child's passport photo.
The provider of the second signature must hand write the following statement on the back of one of the photographs:
I certify that this is a true likeness of the applicant [title and full name of the applicant].
A signature is then required from the counter signatory below this sentence, as well as the date.
The counter signatory will be checked by the passport office to ensure it is genuine by checking either their profession and identity or their professional qualification.
Be sure to inform the counter signatory that they may be contacted by the passport office when the passport office is performing these checks.
If the passport office is dissatisfied with your choice of counter signatory, or for some reason cannot get hold of that person, they might request that you provide a new application form with a different person acting as the counter signatory.