Applying online for your DBS check is often a lot more simple than printing out the form and doing it by hand. It can be easy to make mistakes on any form though and the DBS is no exception. Although the system will stop you from hitting “submit” without the key pieces of information in place, that doesn’t prevent errors in other sections which will hold up processing of your application. Check you haven’t fallen into any of these common traps before submitting your DBS form.


Previous Names and Full Name

The DBS form asks for any names you have been previously been known by. Many people take this to mean surname only, and the most common scenario is for women to be asked to provide maiden names as well as their current surname. The form doesn’t just mean surnames though, it means all names, whether surnames, middle names or given names. So if you’ve changed your name through deed poll, or on marriage, or have switched to using your middle name instead of your first name, you’ll need to show documentation to prove when the changes were made, such as a deed poll certificate, marriage certificate or decree nisi.

Another name-related error is not giving your full name. Your full name includes all middle names, not just your first name and surname. Even if you don’t use your middle name or names, they must be declared on the form. The name you provide on your DBS application form must match any ID which you are submitting to prove who you are, such as passport or driving licence.


Spelling Errors

DBS forms don’t have a spellchecker function. Processing staff can only work from the information you’ve provided on the form, and if you’ve misspelled your name, address or other critical piece of information they won’t be able to track you down on the relevant databases and the form will be returned to you. If you’re not good at spotting errors, ask someone else to read through your form to try to catch any mistakes you might have missed.


Address History

Applicants for a DBS have to supply an address history going back for at least five years. One of the most common errors is leaving gaps in address history or only including the current address rather than a full five-year history. Full address, including postcode should be given. Applicants must also give dates when they were at the address. Applicants who don’t give a five-year history will have their form rejected and they’ll have to start again. Using an online method for applying can help with this, as the website will prompt you to enter the months and years in the correct format, and will remind you if you’ve forgotten key information such as postcodes. If you struggle with form filling in general and are unsure about how to complete the form, it’s usually a good idea to get help with it from a friend or a third party website which will thoroughly check details before submitting.