Many of our licensing checks are conducted electronically - for example, if you hold a UK passport we can check the details you give us with Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO). However, we may still need you to send documents to us - for example, if we have been unable to electronically confirm your current address. You will also need to take certain documents with you to the post office if you are asked to complete your application there.
We will send you instructions on what to do and what documents we may need to see when you submit your application online. Please read these instructions carefully: if we ask you to send documents to us and you don't it will delay your application.
If we do ask you to send documents to us then:
- All documents must be originals, not photocopies*.
- If any of your documents are not in English you must provide us with both the original and an English translation from an accredited translator.
*There is one exception to this rule: we will accept a notarised copy of a passport from a suitably accredited notary in the country in which you reside. This is because in some cases it is impractical or illegal for passports to be posted outside of their country of issue. The notarised copy must be accompanied by a signed and dated letter from the notary.
The documents we ask for will fall into two groups: group A and group B.
What we mean by group A and group B
If you are asked to send documents to us you can expect to receive them back within 10 working days of us receiving them. This allows us the time to scan the documents on to our system, link to your application and then return them to you. Group A documents such as passports and driving licences will be returned by courier; all other documents will be returned as first class post. Please do not send documents that you will need in the immediate future. All documents should be removed from holders, wallets, etc before they are sent to us.
You will need to provide us with a good-quality, passport-style colour photograph (45mm x 35mm). If you complete your application at a UK post office, the post office staff will take this photograph for you.
We check this photograph against one from your identity documents (your passport, driving licence, etc). If you have had to achieve one of the licence-linked qualifications as part of your application, we will also check your photograph against the one given to us by your training provider. This is so that we can check that:
- you are who you say you are, and;
- you are the person who took the training.
If you are applying for a front line licence and your application is successful, we will print your photograph onto your SIA licence.
What the photograph needs to look like
Overseas Criminal Record Checks
If you live overseas or you have spent six continuous months or more outside the UK, you must provide evidence of a criminal record check from the relevant country or countries. The checks need to cover the five years prior to your application.
More about overseas criminal record checks
If you were in military service during this time you may submit an extract from your military record instead.
Information for military/ex-military personnel