ID Checking Help

 Not sure which ID Documents are required for a DBS Check?

There’s lots of information on our website, designed to help you feel confident that you're are providing the correct information in your DBS application form.

The guidelines for verifying ID documents differs depending on the level of DBS Check being processed.

Once you have the correct 2 original ID documents for Basic DBS applications or 3 original ID documents for Standard or Enhanced DBS applications, you must decide whether they are an EEA National. If you are unsure whether they are, please click here to check.

When you know whether they are an EEA National and have the ID documents in front of you, you can begin following the instructions below:

  1. Log into your account using the username and password sent to you via email from [email protected].

  2. Choose the ‘Pending Applications’ option from the left-hand side, where you will then see the applications awaiting ID verification.

  3. Click on the green tick in the ‘Actions’ column next to their name.

  4. Scroll down to the ‘EEA National’ section. Here you must select whether the applicant is an EEA National.  Choosing ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will provide different options for the I.D that can be used for verification.

  5. You must select the documents which you have been provided with. If you have not been presented with at least one document from Group 1 (or Group 1a for Non-EEA Nationals), you will not be able to continue with the I.D verification process.

  6. In some instances, you may need to enter specific details found on the documents.

  7. It is very important that the details completed in this section match the ID documents provided exactly. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information provided on the documents match, i.e. exact same spelling of name, D.O.B etc.

  8. Once you have examined the documents in reference to each other, selected them from the list and inputted the details onto the system, we suggest double-checking all of the information again to ensure there are no typos or errors.

  9. You must then tick the boxes in the Verification section to confirm that you understand your role in the process and the importance of getting the information correct. Once you are sure you have completed the above, you can click the large ‘Submit ID Verification’ button at the bottom of the page.


The applicant must provide 2 original documents from this List of Valid ID Documents if they are completing a Basic DBS Check, or 3 original documents from this List of Valid ID Documents if they are completing a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check.

The valid ID documents also depend on whether the applicant is an EEA National or not. If you are unsure whether they are, please click here to check.

Ensure that you check for signs of tempering when checking ID documents. You should query any document if there are any signs of damage, particularly when in the same area as the name or the photograph. We have provided the following guidelines for checking the most common ID documents below.

English, Welsh and Scottish driving licences outline information about the applicant’s name, date of birth and sex. There is a particular format in which this information is displayed that you can cross-reference against the information provided in the application.

We have given a description of the format in an example below, for a female applicant named Lauren Smith, born 8th April 1998.






S M I T H 9 5 4 0 8 8 L 9 9  2 2

6 0




The first 5 letters of the surname. If the surname contains fewer than 5 letters, number 9’s will be added to create a total of 5 characters


The first and last numbers here are the first and last numbers of the year of birth. The second and third numbers are the month of birth (unless the applicant is female, then ‘5’ will be added to the second number, e.g. in this instance, the female applicant is born in April, therefore the second and third numbers have become 54 instead of 04 for a male applicant). The fourth and fifth digits are the day of the month of birth.


This is the first two initials of the first names followed by a 9. If there is only one first name, an extra 9 will be added on in order to make 3 characters in total. 


Randomised, computer-generated characters for a security measure.


This is the licence issue number, which increases by one with every licence issued.


For Northern Ireland; Isle of Man and Jersey driving licences, the format is different to the above format so cannot be cross-referenced in the same way.

Please note that the date of birth on English, Welsh and Scottish driving licences, issued before 1977, is not recorded separately on the licence. The date of birth can be worked out from the driving licence number and examined against the date of birth field on the application form.


Checking an old-style driving licence (no photograph)

After removing the document from the plastic wallet, you must ensure it is printed on both sides. There should be watermark visible when it is held up towards the light, without any punctuation marks in the name or address.

The ‘Valid To’ date should be a day before the applicant’s 70th birthday (unless they are already over 70). The ‘Valid To’ date can then be checked against applicant’s date of birth in their application.


If the general passport is excessively damaged, treat it with suspicion since this is often used to conceal tampering. Closely examine the photograph for any damage to the laminate or excessive glue, indicating a substitution of the photograph.

There should be an embossed strip into the laminate which should catch a part of the photograph. Ensure there is no damage to this area.

Passports from a foreign nation can still be checked in the same way as outlined above.

Birth certificates do not have a photograph so must be cross-referenced with ID that does contain a photograph. Original birth certificates may provide greater confidence that the identity belongs to the individual, as opposed to certified copies.

Checking the quality of the paper can be a good indicator of whether the birth certificate is genuine since the paper does tend to be high grade, as well as a watermark when held up to the light.

Smoothness on the surface can be an indication that the text has been washed or rubbed off. Tampering, overwriting, changes using liquid paper or spelling mistakes can be indicators of fraud.

The DBS provide the following information on how information may indicate that the birth certificate has been altered (this list is not exhaustive):

  • “Spacing between falsely added particulars might be irregular compared to original information. ‘Thick’ or ‘thin’ spacing might infer particulars have been added.
  • False particulars might not have been aligned with other words.
  • Characters may not be of the same size or shape with the rest of the particulars.
  • Movement of handwriting may look mechanical and does not flow with the rest of the particulars.
  • Changes might not be consistent e.g. parents’ surnames might be altered, but not the signatures.
  • The area around falsely added or removed particulars may react differently under an ultraviolet light i.e. show signs of staining. In addition, such areas of paper may appear thinner where the paper fibres have been disturbed by abrasion.

For more information on checking birth certificates, please refer to Her Majesty’s Passport Office document General Register Office guide to birth certificates.”

Examine the photo identity card for general photo tampering or amended printed details.

Examine the HM Forces ID card for general photo tampering or amended printed details.

Check that the firearms licence is printed on blue security paper with a Royal crest watermark and ‘Home Office’ in faint text.

Examine the licence for tampering of the photograph or amendment of the home address and date of birth, or any of the printed details.

The holder should have signed the licence, as well as bearing the signature of police in the area they live, or someone who has been delegated the authority to do so.

Examine the features of the permit and how to check whether an applicant has a right to work in the UK.

Ensure statements and letters are recent (within a 3-month period). Do not accept documentation that has been printed by the applicant from the internet.

Ensure that letter headed paper has been used and looks genuine i.e. correct bank headers. Cross-reference the address with what has been provided by the applicant.