When applying for a new passport it is essential to provide two identical recent photographs of yourself. There are strict rules regarding suitable photos. The photo should be 45 millimetres high by 35 millimetres wide. Cut down photos are not acceptable. The photo should be unblemished with no tears or creases. The photo cannot be enhanced by computer.
A colour photo, close up, and with a white or cream background. The whole of your face should be in the photograph and any if any parts of the head are cut off or missing, it will not be accepted. You should look straight at the camera. In addition you should not smile, wear sun glasses, have anyone or pets in the photo. No head gear should be worn except for medical or religious reasons. There should be no shadows in the picture, and your face should not be covered by your hair. Pictures of children and babies must be on their own. Both sides of the photo must be clear unless it needs to be countersigned.
You may need to have both the application form and photos countersigned. If so you will need to find someone who is willing to vouch for your identity. This need to be a person who either holds a valid British passport or an Irish passport. They must have known you personally for at least two years. If applying outside the UK an EU or US passport can suffice, but the application will be much quicker if the countersignatory holds a British passport.
Countersignatories must be working in, or retired from, a recognised occupation. A list of suitable occupations can be found on www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications. The better the standing of the counter signatory the quicker your application is likely to be processed. The countersignatory must also be willing to be contacted if necessary, and be willing to give his passport number on your application form.
Counter signed photos apply for a first time adult passport, renewing a passport for a child less than 11 years of age, a lost, damaged or stolen passport, or renewing a passport when your appearance has changed and cannot be recognised from your existing passport.
Please note employees of His Majesty's Passport Office cannot be used as countersignatories.
Once your application form has been completed, you need to ask your countersignatory to check your details are correct and then sign under section 10. This declares the countersignatory has known you for a minimum of two years, he or she can confirm your identity, and the content of your application form is true and correct. With children's applications the countersignatory should be known to the person signing the application form rather than the child. In this instance the countersignatory will need to sign section 9. The countersignatory will need to write the following on the back of one of the photos provided: I certify that this is a true likeness of applicant (full name of applicant required). For child applications the countersignatory must be able to verify the identity of the child in the photo.
The countersignatories must add their signature and the date below this statement.
Please contact one of our passport consultants for more information.
By using us as your acting agency, all you have to do is send us your application from your local post office or by courier.
As a specialised passport agency we are authorised to submit applications on our clients' behalf at His Majesty's Passport office without the need to book any appointments.
Your agent will check your items before applying for your passport in order to avoid delays and rejection.
Our agents are on-hand via email and phone to assist with any type of query you might have.