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 use a digital check that will authenticate your photo ID document or provide a suitable referee, who needs to confirm your identity.

You can apply for your first CitizenCard online or you can use a paper or printed application if you have one (many businesses stock our co-branded forms).

To get your first UK ID card online you must:

  • be a UK resident (live in the United Kingdom)
  • create your online account (complete a registration form and activate your account)
  • complete an online application for a new (first-time) CitizenCard and make a payment
  • choose a verification route - either a digital check that will authenticate your photo ID document or a referee who is a professional person that will confirm your identity (full details below)
  • upload passport quality photograph and, if needed, any documents required
  • we verify your identity with a photo ID validation or by contacting your referee
  • we post your photo ID card to you

If you have an original photo ID document that bears a recent likeness to you and states your current name we can verify your identity electronically (details below). If you don't have any valid photo ID, you need a referee.

There are two types of referees we accept - referees validating original document(s) (also called Route 1) and referees confirming from official records (also called Route 2).

Apply for a UK ID card online

Electronic ID Validation - a digital check that authenticates your photo ID document (online applications only)

If you already have a photo ID document stating your current name we can verify your identity electronically.

To use the Electronic ID Validation you must:

  • apply online
  • have access to a mobile phone, a tablet or a computer with a camera
  • have an original photo ID document that bears a recent likeness to you and states your current name

We only accept the following documents for the Electronic ID Validation:

  • Passport (UK or International)
  • Photo Driving Licence (UK or European)
  • European National ID Card

Referee validating original document(s) - checks an official document confirming your identity

Referees validating original document(s) (also called Route 1) are professionals, who need to see and check an original document confirming your identity. Check a list of permitted referees validating original document(s) to find out who can act as one.

Your chosen referee must:

  • work in a recognised profession where their business details can be verified and are published/advertised in online professional business directories
  • be contactable at their registered business address via email and on their work telephone number during office hours i.e. Mon-Fri, 9.00 - 17.00 (we will call them)
  • not be related to you or in a personal relationship with you (cannot be a guardian, foster carer, spouse, civil partner, fiancé, boyfriend/girlfriend)
  • not live with you

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

  • Adoption certificate
  • Biometric Home Office photo ID
  • Birth certificate
  • Certified copy of a birth certificate
  • Disclosure and Barring Service certificate (DBS)
  • European National ID Card (must bear a recent likeness to you)
  • Global or European Health Insurance Card
  • Gender Recognition Certificate
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • NHS Medical Card
  • Passport (UK or International; must bear a recent likeness to you)
  • Photo Driving Licence (UK or European; must bear a recent likeness to you)
  • Proof of Age Standards Scheme card
  • Marriage certificate which states 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
  • European National ID Card (must bear a recent likeness to you)
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • Passport (UK or International; must bear a recent likeness to you)
  • Photo Driving Licence (UK or European; must bear a recent likeness to you)
  • Proof of Age Standards Scheme card

If you are applying using a paper or printed application 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 change of name document(s) - marriage certificate(s), change of name deed(s), Court Order(s) or Gender Recognition Certificate to your referee. Note that for a paper or printed application your referee needs to countersign the photocopies of your change of name document(s) and you need to post them to us together with the other documentation.

Referee with access to official records - confirms your details against their official records

Don’t have any official documents confirming your identity?

Referees confirming from official records (also called Route 2) are professionals, who know you and can confirm your details against their official records held at their place of work.

Your chosen referee must:

  • work in a recognised profession where their business details can be verified and are published/advertised in online professional business directories
  • be contactable at their registered business address via email and on their work telephone number during office hours i.e. Mon-Fri, 9.00 - 17.00 (we will call them)
  • not be related to you or in a personal relationship with you (cannot be a guardian, foster carer, spouse, civil partner, fiancé, boyfriend/girlfriend)
  • not live with you

We only accept the following referees with access to official records:

  • your Doctor / Dentist / Nurse / Administrator at your GP / Dental Surgery
  • your Teacher / Tutor / Head of Year / Administrator / Careers Adviser at your School / College / University
    (must be contactable at their place of work during academic holidays)
  • 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
  • your Immigration Adviser registered at the Office of the Immigration Commissioner
  • 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

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Important Points For Online Applicants

  • If you need your card right away, make an Urgent application using our paperless online application system.
  • Make sure you follow our photo requirements when you upload your photo.
  • If you don't have a valid Passport (UK or International), Photo Driving Licence (UK or European) or European National ID Card, you need a referee - a professional person validating original document(s) or confirming your details from official records.
  • If applicable, check whether your referee completed the Digital Referee Declaration Form to submit their work details to us.
  • If applicable, make sure that your referee can be contacted by phone and email 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:
    7 Prescott Place
    London
    SW4 6BS
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@victoria_took You must have the original ID document- as copies cannot be used throughout the application process

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