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ID Requirements For DBS checks


Whether employer or applicant, it’s important to know ID requirements for DBS checks.

As an employer you must be able to clearly explain to applicants which ID types are necessary.

If you’re an applicant, failing to sufficiently prove your identity can delay the DBS checking process – or even make you ineligible.

In this blog, we discuss ID requirements for DBS checks and provide more detail as to the responsibility of employers when processing an application.

ID checking routes during standard/enhanced DBS checks

For ID checks, the DBS outlines various routes that applicants and employers must follow when completing the ID check.

When applying for a standard DBS/enhanced DBS check, the DBS offer three potential routes to proving identity, with each requiring a different selection of ID documents.

The preferred option is route one as it requires only a single primary identity document alongside two further documents.

Route one also provides the most straightforward route when checking ID requirements for DBS checks.

Indeed, route two may only be used if an applicant cannot provide the necessary documents for route one. Likewise, route three may only be used if route two is impossible.

While the routes differ in terms of required documents, in all routes at least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address.

ID checking routes during basic DBS checks

When applying for a basic DBS check, the DBS offer two potential routes to proving identity, with a third route – named route 1a – eligible only to non-EEA national applicants.

Route one once again provides the most straightforward route, requiring only a single primary identity document alongside one further document.

Should providing the necessary documents for route one prove impossible, route two is then required.

This route involves providing a document from group 2a followed by two further documents from groups 2a and 2b.

Non-EEA national applicants applying for a basic DBS check for paid work must use route 1a.

This route requires a document from Group 1a alongside one further document from any group.

All documentation must be current – should a non-EEA applicant be unable to current documentation they will be unable to apply for a basic DBS check.

Any combination of documents must also provide the applicant’s name, address and date of birth.

All applicants, regardless of background, must provide original documents when proving their identity.

Types of ID used for DBS checks

As mentioned, each route requires a different combination of documents. These are defined as:

  • Group 1: Primary identity documents
  • Group 1a: Primary identity documents for non-EEA nationals needing a basic DBS check for paid work
  • Group 2a: Trusted government documents
  • Group 2b: Financial and social history documents

The primary identity documents found in Group 1 provide the applicant with the possibility to satisfy the identity requirements for a DBS check through route one.

These documents include:

  • Passport (any current or valid passport)
  • Biometric residence permit
  • Current driving licence photocard (UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands or EEA)
  • Birth certificate
  • Adoption certificate

The primary documents in Group 1a are required exclusively by non-EEA nationals with a permanent or temporary right to work in the UK. A non-EEA applicant must show one of these documents.

Some of the documents in this group include:

  • A current Biometric Immigration Document
  • A current passport showing the holder is exempt from immigration control or allowed to stay temporarily and undergo the work in question
  • A current Immigration Status Document indicating the individual is allowed to either stay in the UK indefinitely or stay temporarily and undergo the work in question
  • A current Residence Card issued by the Home Office to a family member of a national of the EEA or Switzerland

Should an applicant be unable to provide a Group 1 document they will need to provide multiple documents from Groups 2a and 2b, following the appropriate route.

Some of the documents in these groups include:

  • Current driving licence photocard (Non-EEA countries)
  • P45 or P60 statement
  • Marriage/civil partnership certificate (UK, Channel Islands)
  • HM Forces ID card
  • Mortgage Statement (UK, EEA)
  • Benefit Statement
  • Utility bill
  • Visa/work permit

Visit the DBS website for a comprehensive list of all the different ID types in each group required for a DBS check.

The website also provides details of exactly which documents are required for each ID checking route.

Non-EEA nationals applying for work

Non-EEA nationals applying for voluntary work, who are eligible for a DBS check, have to apply using route one.

In comparison, Non-EEA nationals applying for paid work and who require a basic DBS check must provide a primary document from group 1a alongside one further document.

Finally, Non-EEA nationals applying for paid work and require a standard/enhanced DBS check must follow the “paid work route”- providing one primary document and two supporting documents.

Any documents provided must be original with primary documents detailing a right-to-work in the UK and a satisfactory immigration status.

If you’re an employer without much experience in handling right-to-work documents, it’s worth reviewing this handy guide.

Employers’ responsibilities

As an employer, you must:

  • Only accept valid and original documents – scans or photocopies aren’t sufficient
  • Ensure that across all documents, the name, date of birth and current address match those on the DBS application
  • Check that any photos on documents are a true likeness of the applicant
  • Be sure the applicant declares any change in name, and that as far as is reasonably possible documentation is provided to support the change – for example, a marriage certificate.

You’re also required to check identity documents are not fraudulent. The DBS detail a list of tell-tale signs of document tampering here.

If you think you have been given false documents when checking ID requirements for DBS checks, do not proceed with the application process.

You can report suspected identity fraud through the Action Fraud website. If you’ve already submitted the DBS check, call 03000 200 190.

ID requirements for DBS Checks – Conclusion

It can appear complicated, but provided you adhere to the appropriate routes regarding ID requirements for DBS checks, you won’t go wrong.

If you’re an employer and are unsure about how to check ID requirements for DBS checks, there’s plenty of guidance online – or speak to the DBS.

Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are completed within 48 hours. Get started now.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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