There are several parts to the DBS application process, culminating in having your form issued. The first part of the process is confirming your identity, both to make sure you are who you say you are, and that the checks are carried out on the correct person. This is especially important if you have a relatively common name such as Karen Brown or Stephen Smith; there may be dozens of other people with your name living in the UK. In order to prove who you are and where you live, you’ll be asked to provide documents to verify your identity. There is a set list of documents which must be provided, and applicants aren’t allowed to deviate from the list.


Original Copies

It’s important to note that applicants much show the originals of their documents, not photocopies or scans via email. This is a measure to prevent forgeries being submitted and not detected. If for whatever reason you are not able to attend in person with your documents and need to send them in the post, you can have copies certified by going to a Post Office with the originals and copies and having them checked. This certification currently costs £10.50 for up to three documents. Check first that certified copies will be accepted.


Accepted Documents

Full lists of the documents accepted for DBS checks are online. If you’re applying for checking through PVG in Scotland or AccessNI in Northern Ireland don’t assume that the lists will be the same; there is considerable common ground between the three systems but always double check to make sure. There’s a fairly complicated system where you have to provide a combination of documents from certain groups but when it comes to DBS if you can show three of the following documents, that will be sufficient to prove who you are:

  • Any current passport (British passport or passport of any other country)
  • UK biometric residence permit
  • Driving licence (as long as it’s the photocard type)
  • British birth certificate
  • Adoption certificate

If you only have one or two of these documents, you can then provide documents from other groups such as British marriage certificates, mortgage statements, credit card statements, work permits or identity cards issued elsewhere in the European Union. If you’re not sure what documents you will need, try to gather together as much as you can and allow whoever is verifying your documents to decide what they want to see.


Verifying Documents

When you start the DBS application process, you’ll be told who the person is in the organisation with the responsibility for verifying documents. Gather together your passport, driving licence and financial paperwork, make sure that you have the correct combination and that utility bills or other financial documents are dated within the last 12 months. The verification process is very simple; the designated person will look through your documents, complete the form to state what they have seen, and then submit your DBS form off for processing centrally.