Requirements for your first UK ID card

Do you live in the UK but never had a CitizenCard photo ID before? You will need to provide a suitable referee, who needs to confirm your identity.

To get your first UK ID card you must:

  • be a UK resident (live in the United Kingdom)
  • make a payment and submit your application
  • provide a Route 1 or Route 2 referee (full details below)
  • supply a passport quality photograph of yourself countersigned by your referee
  • send your application together with all necessary documents to us.

There are two types of referees we accept - Route 1 and Route 2.

A Route 1 referee countersigns a copy of an official document confirming your identity e.g. a birth certificate or passport (full list of official documents we accept can be found below).

A Route 2 referee confirms your details against official records held at their place of work.

Your chosen referee must:

  • be in full time employment
  • be contactable at their registered business address on their landline number (a non-mobile phone) during office hours i.e. Mon-Fri, 9.00 - 17.00 – we will definitely call them!

and they must not:

  • have a family or personal relationship with you (including that of guardian or foster carer) nor live with you
  • be self-employed, sole traders or those working from home/residential address.

Apply for a UK ID card online

Route 1 referee - countersigns a copy of an official document confirming your identity

ROUTE 1 referees are professionals, who can countersign a copy of an official document confirming your identity as being true to the original. Check a list of permitted Route 1 referees to find out who can act as one.

If the referee knows you personally the countersigned document confirming your identity can be one of the following:

  • Biometric Home Office photo ID
  • Birth certificate
  • Certified copy of a birth certificate
  • Disclosure and Barring Service certificate (DBS)
  • EU National ID Card
  • European Health Insurance Card
  • Gender Recognition Certificate
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • NHS Medical Card
  • Passport (UK or international)
  • Photo driving licence (UK or European)
  • Proof of Age Standards Scheme card
  • Scottish marriage certificate (must state applicant's date of birth)
  • UK Naturalisation Certificate.

If your referee doesn’t know you the following photographic ID documents can be used:

  • Biometric Home Office photo ID
  • EU National ID Card
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • Passport (UK or international)
  • Photo driving licence (UK or European)
  • Proof of Age Standards Scheme card.

You must show an original document confirming your identity to your referee, ask them to countersign a photocopy of it and post it to us together with your CitizenCard application. Please do not send original documents.

Additionally, if you have changed your name since birth and the document shows your old name, please show the original marriage certificate(s), change of name deed(s), Court Order(s) or Gender Recognition Certificate to your referee, ask them to countersign the photocopies and then send them to us together with the above.

Route 2 referee - confirms your details against their official records

Don’t have any official documents confirming your identity?

ROUTE 2 referees are professionals, who know you and can confirm your details against their official records held at their place of work. We only accept the following referees for the Route 2 process:

  • your Doctor / Dentist / Nurse / Administrator at your GP / Dental Surgery
  • your Teacher / Tutor / Head of Year / Administrator / Careers Adviser at your School / College / University
    (please ensure they are available during academic holidays as they must be contactable at their place of work)
  • your Social Worker
  • your Certified Solicitor
  • a Bank / Building Society staff member at your branch
  • your Prison or Probation Officer
  • your Jobcentre Plus work coach
  • if you are employed with any of the above referees, they can verify your identity from their personnel records
  • if you are employed by a Public Authority / Government, your employer can verify your identity from their personnel records
  • if you are employed by a Local Authority, your employer can verify your identity from their personnel records
  • if you are employed by a UK business that has more than 250 staff, your employer can verify your identity from their personnel records.

Watch how CitizenCard helped Carly on her night out at a nightclub...


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Important Points For Applicants

  • If you need your card right away, make an Urgent application and post it by Special Delivery.
  • Check whether your referee is acceptable as Route 1 or a Route 2 professional person.
  • Check whether your referee countersigned your form, passport quality photograph and (if applicable) a copy of an official document confirming your identity.
  • Make sure that your referee can be contacted by phone during office hours at their place of work.

TRUSTED ID SINCE 1999

The PASS hologram on each CitizenCard is endorsed by the Home Office, Police, SIA and retailers.

Proof of Age Standards SchemeNational Police Chiefs' Council
Chartered Trading Standards InstituteSecurity Industry Authority

Contact us:

  • Address:
    36 Bromells Road
    London
    SW4 0BG
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