The DBS have created a 3-tiered document identification process that dictates which documents must be presented in support of your DBS Check application. The valid document types and combinations as listed below refer to applications for Standard and Enhanced criminal record checks. Route 1 must be exhausted before Route 2 can be attempted. Route 3 exists as a last resort.
The following information is based on the official DBS Identity Checking Guidelines. If you are applying for a basic criminal record check, please read our ‘documents for a basic criminal record check’ page.
DBS Route 1
- A minimum of 3 documents must be presented
- At least one document must be from Group 1, a ‘Primary Trusted Document’ (Driving Licence or Passport taking priority)
- At least one document must show the current address
- At least one document must show date of birth
- All documents must be in the current name (although statements and letters can be in joint names, provided the applicant’s name is clearly identifiable)
If the applicant does not possess sufficient documents to submit a Route 1 application, they must sign a declaration form to confirm this and proceed with a Route 2 application.
NOTE – Non-EEA Nationals:
Non-EEA Nationals should only be validated via Route 1 if they are undertaking voluntary work. If they are undertaking paid work then Route 1a applies. Route 1a requires the applicant to provide a ‘right to work’ document in the combinations listed at the bottom of this page, plus two documents from any group. Each document can only be used once.
DBS Route 2
If a Route 1 application is not possible, then the applicant must submit their application following Route 2. The Route 2 documents are:
- A minimum of 3 documents (but more is better).
- At least one document from Group 2a, plus two additional documents from Group 2a or Group 2b.
- All documents must be in the applicant’s current name.
- At least one document must show the applicant’s current address.
- At least one document must show the applicant’s date of birth.
- A Third Party ID Verification Check, including an ID Check consent form. The check may require additional payment.
DBS Route 3
If the ID check fails, then we will contact the applicant to confirm the DBS Route 3 application process, which requires a UK Birth Certificate plus 1 document from group 2a and 3 documents from group 2a or 2b, making 5 documents in total. If this Route fails then we will be required to initiate the DBS Fingerprinting process to establish identity.
Once all other application Routes available have failed, the DBS will undertake a process of Fingerprinting, to confirm the ID of the applicant. The application must be made with a DBS paper application form and will require passport-style photographs to be supplied. The Police Force local to the applicant will then initiate contact and arrange a time for the applicant to attend a Fingerprinting session. It is recommended that applicants avoid this Route, as it can cause significant delays to the process of applying for a Disclosure (from our experience, up to 3 months).
The documents required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application are divided into 3 categories, depending on the type of document, and the information they confirm. An additional group exists for non-EEA applicants seeking paid work (Group 1a).
These categories are listed below and are based on the official DBS Guidance (updated September 2018).
Group 1: Primary identity documents
|Passport||Any current and valid passport|
|Biometric residence permit||UK|
|Current photocard driving licence||UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EEA (full or provisional). All licences must be valid in line with current DVLA requirements|
|Birth certificate – issued within 12 months of birth|
UK and Channel Islands – including those issued by UK authorities overseas, eg embassies, High Commissions and HM Forces
UK and Channel Islands
Group 2a: Trusted government documents
|Current driving licence – photo card (non-EEA)||All countries (full or provisional) (Excluding UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EU). All licences must be valid in line with current DVLA requirements|
|Current driving licence – paper version||UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands and EEA (full or provisional). All licences must be valid in line with current DVLA requirements|
|Birth certificate – issued 12+ months after birth||UK and Channel Islands|
|Marriage/civil partnership certificate||UK and Channel Islands|
|HM Forces ID card||UK|
|Firearms licence||UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man|
|Immigration document, visa or work permit||Issued by a country outside the EEA. Valid only for roles whereby the applicant is living and working outside of the UK. Visa/permit must relate to the non EEA country in which the role is based|
Group 2b: Financial and social history documents
|Mortgage statement||UK or EEA||Issued in last 12 months|
|Bank or building society statement||UK and Channel Islands or EEA||Issued in last 3 months|
|Bank or building society statement||Countries outside the EEA||Issued in last 3 months – branch must be in the country where the applicant lives and works|
|Bank or building society account opening confirmation letter||UK||Issued in last 3 months|
|Credit card statement||UK or EEA||Issued in last 3 months|
|Financial statement, e.g. pension or endowment||UK||Issued in last 12 months|
|P45 or P60 statement||UK and Channel Islands||Issued in last 12 months|
|Council Tax statement||UK and Channel Islands||Issued in last 12 months|
|Letter of sponsorship from future employment provider||Non-UK or non-EEA only. Valid only for applicants residing outside of the UK at time of application||Must still be valid|
|Utility bill||UK – not mobile telephone bill, or TV licence||Issued in last 3 months|
|Benefit statement, e.g. Child Benefit, Pension||UK||Issued in last 3 months|
|Central or local government, government agency, or local council document giving entitlement, e.g. from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, HMRC||UK and Channel Islands||Issued in last 3 months|
|EEA National ID card||Must still be valid|
|Irish Passport Card||Cannot be used with an Irish Passport||Must still be valid|
|Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo||UK and Channel Islands||Must still be valid|
|Letter from head teacher or college principal||UK – for 16 to 19 year olds in full time education. Only used in exceptional circumstances if other documents cannot be provided|
Group 1a: Primary identity documents for non-EEA nationals
|A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area or Switzerland.||UK|
|A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.||UK|
|A current Passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK||Any current and valid Passport|
|A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer|
|A current Passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question|
Any current and valid Passport
|A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder which indicates that the named person can currently stay in the UK and is allowed to do the work in question.||UK|
|A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence|
|A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer|
|A Certificate of Application issued by the Home Office under regulation 17(3) or 18A (2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, to a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland stating that the holder is permitted to take employment which is less than 6 months old together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service|
UK, less than 6 months old, with additional documents
|An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office stating that the holder is permitted to take the employment in question, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service|
UK, with additional documents
|A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer, which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question.|