Changes to Our Document Checks

We have made changes to the way that people need to prove their identity when applying for a licence.

Why have we made these changes?

The SIA is obliged to follow the identity document requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which are set by the Home Office.

These changes bring us into line with evolving central government guidelines.

When will these changes come into effect?

These new rules came into effect as of 15 February 2019.

What are the changes?

  • Prior to the change, people renewing their licence or applying for a licence in an additional sector were only asked to submit identity documents in certain circumstances – for example, if they had changed their address since their previous application. As of 15 February our full document requirements apply to everyone, regardless of whether they are applying for a new licence, renewing their existing licence or applying for a licence in an additional sector.
  • This means that people who previously would not have been asked to complete their application at the post office will now be required to do so.
  • Businesses using our Licence Management service will not be able to accept two group A documents as they have in the past. They will need to follow the document requirements outlined below.

What identity documents do we ask for?

We ask applicants to present one 'Group A' document and two 'Group B' documents in support of their application. At least one of the documents must show their date of birth and any address shown on these documents must match the address they gave us in their application.

The documents must be originals, not copies, so applicants should plan ahead as they may need to contact banks, utility companies, or local authorities in order to get these.

A full list of 'Group A' and 'Group B' documents is available on our website.

View the full list

These documents are checked by the applicant's employer (if they use our Licence Management service), the post office or (in some circumstances) directly by SIA staff.

What if I can't get to a post office to present my documents?

Applicants who can't get to a post office can still apply to us for a post office exemption. This is granted in some cases if there is a genuine need; for example, for applicants who live a significant distance from a participating post office.

You can ask for a post office exemption whilst applying for a licence using our online application system. Please be aware that this may lengthen the time taken to process your application.

How can I find out more?

You can contact us through your SIA online account. If you don't yet have an online account, this video- this link opens in a new window will show you how to create one.