Having your photo certified for a driving licence

If you're making a first driving licence application or renewing your driving licence and need to have the back of your photo certified (signed) by an authorised person, this page explains who can sign the photo.

Your first driving licence application

When making a first application for a driving licence and you’re providing identity documents that are not one of the following, you must get an authorised person to sign the back of your photo:

  • an up to date United Kingdom (UK) or other European Economic Area (EEA) passport 
  • a valid UK Biometric Residence Permit 
  • or an up to date UK travel document                                                                              

Passport holders from other countries must send in a passport type photograph of themselves that has been signed on the back by one of the people listed below under the heading 'Who can sign your photo'.

Renewal of your driving licence 

If you’re renewing your driving licence online, you don’t need to get your photo signed.

For drivers renewing their driving licence by post, note that the rules for passport type photos have changed as follows:

  • if your appearance has not changed since you got your last driving licence - you can send in a passport type photograph without certification which means without a signature from an authorised person
  • if your appearance has changed significantly since your last driving licence -you will need to send in a passport type photo that is certified, which means you must get an authorised person to sign the back of your photo

Guidelines for the photo on your driving licence. 

Who can sign your photo

If you are making a first driving licence application or renewing your driving licence by post and need to have the back of your photo signed, the person signing your photo must:

  • live in the UK
  • know you personally (for at least two years)
  • not be a relative
  • hold a NI driving licence (issued after 1 April 1999)

Suitable people include:

  • lay magistrate or Justice of the Peace
  • a minister of religion
  • a professionally qualified person, for example, a lawyer, teacher or engineer
  • a librarian
  • a local business person or shopkeeper
  • a local councillor, MP, MLA, or MEP
  • a bank or building society officer
  • an established civil servant
  • a police officer
  • any person in employment or position of trust which requires Accessni conduct checks
  • if none of the above are available, any other person employed in a position of responsibility

The person signing your photo must also fill in section eight of your DL1 application form. Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) will make random checks on people who sign photocard driving licence applications.

If you have come to live in the UK within the last two years and don't know anyone who qualifies to sign your photo, you should make an appointment with the Identity Section. You should take all your documents to this interview, where a member of staff will help you. Contact details below:

If you are in doubt about whether you need to provide a certified photograph with your application you can contact DVA on:

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