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.

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 your referee, a professional person that will confirm your identity (full details below)
  • upload passport quality photograph and, if needed, any documents required
  • confirm you have finished uploading your file(s)
  • your referee confirms your identity
  • we post your photo ID card to you after the application is verified and your identity checked.

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).

Your chosen referee must:

  • be in full time employment
  • be contactable at their registered business address via email and on their work 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

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.

If the referee knows you personally the 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.

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. 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
    (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.
  • Make sure you follow our photo requirements when you upload your photo.
  • Check whether your referee is acceptable as a professional person validating original document(s) or confirming your details from official records.
  • Check whether your referee completed the Digital Referee Declaration Form to submit their work details to us.
  • 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

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  • Address:
    36 Bromells Road
    London
    SW4 0BG
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