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:

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.