When you apply for a DBS check, it’s not enough just to fill in the form and send it away. One of the main parts of the process is proving exactly who you are. This needs to be done for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it stops identity thieves from assuming someone else’s identity and getting a bogus DBS certificate. Secondly, and more commonly, it reduces the risk of your record getting mixed up with someone else who has a similar name, location and date of birth. There are however a few rules about documents which you should be aware of.


Identity Documents

The documents you need to verify your DBS application are split into two main groups – identity documents and address documents. There is a wide range of documents which you could use to prove your identity. A full list is on the DBS website. In essence, your employer is going to want to see some official government identity where possible, preferably with your photograph on it. The ideal examples are passport and driving licence. If you don’t have both of these, or either, then there are some other options such as Army identity cards, birth certificates and other official documents which show who you are. Look at the lists online to make sure you have the right combination of documents.


Address Documents

In addition to proving who you are, you also need to prove that you live where you say you do. You will need documents sent to you which clearly show your postal address. Again, there is a wide range of things you might be able to provide. Letters from HMRC or other government departments, bank statements, credit card bills or electricity bills are all accepted as proof. Check again to make sure you have the right combination of different proof – for example you can’t submit two bank statements from subsequent months. You’ll need two different address proofs from different sources.


General Document Rules

Whatever types of documents you have to support your application, there are a few general rules which apply in all cases. Firstly, you need the originals of all your documents. Photocopies won’t be accepted, and neither will printouts from online accounts. Your employer might want to take a copy for their records, but will need to see originals. If an employer asks you to send documents in by post and you don’t feel comfortable sending originals, then there is a process for having them formally authenticated.

Also, documents must be valid, or dated recently. So you can’t present a passport which has expired, for example. Bills or statements should be dated no longer than three months ago. For things like Council Tax statements or P60 forms which are only sent out annually, you need the most recent one. If you have switched to paperless banking or get your credit card bills online only, then usually the bank will be able to send out a paper statement or bill if you call and ask. This all takes time though, so don’t drag your heels when asked to get your documents together.