• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

Organise a countersignatory now - before you lose your passport

johncrossley

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
669
Location
London
I would advise people to start looking for a countersignatory now in case you lose your passport. My friend has tried to use me as a countersignatory but it was rejected. He's now in a pickle. He can't find anyone else. So it would be a good idea to start making acquaintances now.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

johnnychips

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
2,978
Location
Sheffield
Surely if your passport is lost rather than expired, the previous coutersignatory should be Ok? In any case one of your previous teachers will always do it for free if you can still contact them
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
2,351
Location
Up the creek
Do you need a countersignatory nowadays if you are renewing a passport straight after a previous one has run out? Having left school over forty years ago, I doubt if any of my teachers would know me again.
 

johncrossley

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
669
Location
London
Surely if your passport is lost rather than expired, the previous coutersignatory should be Ok? In any case one of your previous teachers will always do it for free if you can still contact them

My friend left school 30 years ago. So did I.

Do you need a countersignatory nowadays if you are renewing a passport straight after a previous one has run out? Having left school over forty years ago, I doubt if any of my teachers would know me again.

Only if your appearance has changed radically since the last passport.
 

johnnychips

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2011
Messages
2,978
Location
Sheffield
It’s just I’ve heard horror stories of others charging a fee to do this. As a teacher, I’m all too willing to countersign passports for ex-students I haven’t seen for maybe fifteen years as long as I recognise them. There used to be a twist, I think, that if it was for a student under 16/18 you had to know their parents, rather than the students themselves. I don’t know if this still applies.
 

johncrossley

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
669
Location
London
I don't mind paying if necessary. Finding someone is hard enough. I'm not sure if any of my friends qualify, given that I was rejected. This has got me worried.

I'm considering befriending someone with the sole purpose of using them as a countersignatory if I lose my passport in the future. But how do I go about this without looking like an idiot?
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
13,491
Location
No longer here
Your countersignatory simply needs to be someone who can recognise you and has known you for two years (family excepted)

How many people wouldn’t be able to do this?
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,459
Location
Leeds
Your countersignatory simply needs to be someone who can recognise you and has known you for two years (family excepted)

How many people wouldn’t be able to do this?
I’m always wary of a ‘friend’ signing these; who is a person of ‘good standing in the community’? It pretty much covers anyone and everyone.
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
25,549
Location
Fenny Stratford
What if one has just moved home and knows nobody locally yet?

What exactly are/were the rules, for first passports or renewals?

Well, if you have just bought a house as part of your move you will know a solicitor and you could ask them to sign................................
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
13,491
Location
No longer here
I’m always wary of a ‘friend’ signing these; who is a person of ‘good standing in the community’? It pretty much covers anyone and everyone.
Yeah that’s the thing, it covers everyone except probably seriously bad eggs and routinely dishonest people. Get a mate to sign it.
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,459
Location
Leeds
Yeah that’s the thing, it covers everyone except probably seriously bad eggs and routinely dishonest people. Get a mate to sign it.
Didn’t it used to be someone who had a professional vocation and would stand to ‘lose’ something should they have done something criminal?
 

LSWR Cavalier

Member
Joined
23 Aug 2020
Messages
1,138
Location
Leafy Suburbia
I don't mind paying if necessary. Finding someone is hard enough. I'm not sure if any of my friends qualify, given that I was rejected. This has got me worried.

I'm considering befriending someone with the sole purpose of using them as a countersignatory if I lose my passport in the future. But how do I go about this without looking like an idiot?
Join the local history society, I did that when I retired: retired teachers, authors etc. Just have to wait two years.

Do most people have a medical doctor (GP) who could sign?
 

johncrossley

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
669
Location
London
Yeah that’s the thing, it covers everyone except probably seriously bad eggs and routinely dishonest people. Get a mate to sign it.

My mate got me to sign it, but it was rejected.

Join the local history society, I did that when I retired: retired teachers, authors etc. Just have to wait two years.

Do most people have a medical doctor (GP) who could sign?

GPs aren't allowed, unless they are actually friends.
 
Last edited:

backontrack

Established Member
Joined
2 Feb 2014
Messages
6,126
Location
The UK
Everything you do has to come through a passport.

Age verification ID? Passport please.

Provisional driving license? Passport.

Not everyone has the cash for these things.
 

alxndr

Member
Joined
3 Apr 2015
Messages
950
If you go to the pub, licencees can sign. Quite a few people used to ask my parents.
 

cornishjohn

Member
Joined
1 Feb 2011
Messages
66
Your countersignatory simply needs to be someone who can recognise you and has known you for two years (family excepted)

How many people wouldn’t be able to do this?
There is a fairly detailed list of acceptable professions at https://www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications/accepted-occupations-for-countersignatories. Interestingly, from https://www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications a "colleague" might be acceptable or might not.

When I was countersigned as a teenager I found such people quite easy to find. Needing a countersigner a couple of years ago was indeed a lot harder... If you work in or with a small firm a Company Director should be fairly easy to find once you have clocked your two years.

Is anyone willing to say why they were not accepted as a countersigner?
 

LowLevel

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2013
Messages
5,358
"Retired from" always interested me. I was once a permanent contract civil servant. I left the job for something better paid and less depressing but presumably unless I've retired rather than just left the job I can no longer be a countersignatory?
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,459
Location
Leeds
Is anyone willing to say why they were not accepted as a countersigner?
Although I’m a teacher, I don’t have an in-date passport so I’m unable to be a counter signatory until I do. Rather embarrassing when I’ve had a few requests from parents over the years!
 

birchesgreen

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2020
Messages
2,052
Location
Birmingham
I got a colleague to do it last time, the only problem was that she used blue ink instead of black and it had to be done again as apparently that matters.
 

BluePenguin

Established Member
Joined
26 Sep 2016
Messages
1,228
Location
Kent
I am surprised, do that many people not have friends they have known for over 2 years? I know numerous people locally I have known for over 10 years
 

johncrossley

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
669
Location
London
I am surprised, do that many people not have friends they have known for over 2 years? I know numerous people locally I have known for over 10 years

But my friend used me as a countersigner and was rejected, so not all friends can be used.

I just checked with my dentist and she will countersign, should I need that in the future. But there's no guarantee she will be working there forever so you need to find as many options as you can. I'm considering registering with another dentist as backup.
 
Last edited:

MarlowDonkey

Member
Joined
4 Apr 2013
Messages
1,076
Do you need a countersignatory nowadays if you are renewing a passport straight after a previous one has run out?
Perhaps I've always renewed whilst in date, but I've not needed a counter signatory. If you use a photobooth you get a link to a digital copy of your photo, so the whole renewal process can be done online. It's far easier than it was twenty years agom where there was a lengthy form detailing various requirements, at the end of which it said they weren't needed for renewals.
 

pdq

Member
Joined
7 Oct 2010
Messages
614
When I did my children's renewals last year, I uploaded a digital image then nominated our local vicar to electronically confirm their identities (after checking with him first).

Doing it electronically should remove the issue someone mentioned about moving house and not knowing someone local for long enough, as long as you still have contact with a qualifying person.
 

PupCuff

Member
Joined
27 Feb 2020
Messages
291
Location
Nottingham
It does feel a bit antiquated, the whole process of having certain specified people being able to sign the application after knowing you for a very specific two years. I do wonder if there should be some other method of identity verification; allow you to take your drivers licence and some other proof of name and address to a solicitor to sign, that kind of thing.

I was impressed at my latest passport renewal - I could take a photo straight from my smartphone and upload it there and then, arrived in about a week. Job was one of them there "good'uns".
 

plugwash

Member
Joined
29 May 2015
Messages
578
I am surprised, do that many people not have friends they have known for over 2 years? I know numerous people locally I have known for over 10 years
People generally have friends in their own class. If you are upper middle class you probablly have a bunch of upper middle class friends, if you are working class not so much. So you are more likely to be dependent on using people you interact with professionally. I don't know if i'm typical but I haven't seen a doctor in years and while I do see dentists regularly at least the dental practice I use seem to have trouble keeping dentists.
 

DelayRepay

Established Member
Joined
21 May 2011
Messages
1,633
I am able to countersign as a 'bank official'.

Years ago, I used to be asked quite regularly to sign for friends and acquaintances, but I've not been asked to do so for years. This may be because I don't really know many people who are of the age that they're applying for their first passport any more.

It was always awkward when we were asked to sign for a customer - we were only able to do so if we knew them personally. We would get regular requests from customers to countersign but because I had never even seen that person before I would have to politely decline.
 

philthetube

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2016
Messages
2,788
Maybe people holding long term licences such as Bus and Lorry drivers should be able to sign, possibly after the first renewal.
 

Top