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DBS Application Form Tips

Here are some helpful tips to use when completing your DBS (CRB) application form. These will help you to avoid errors which can cause delays in receiving your DBS (CRB) certificate.

We recommend that you read these tips carefully before completing your DBS (CRB) Check.


Please be aware that we cannot accept ‘NO FIXED ABODE’ as the applicant’s current address in section B.

We require a full address at which we can write to the applicant and send their copy of the certificate.

In these circumstances, the applicant must provide a ‘care of’ address in section B and provide an explanation on a continuation sheet which can be downloaded here.

We understand it is common for an applicant to live on campus or in student accommodation during term time and reside with their parents (or a similar permanent home address) in the period between academic years. This can cause confusion when completing the current and previous address fields on the application form.

The address entered in section B “current address”, should be the address where correspondence can be sent to the applicant and where the certificate will be sent to at the end of the process.

Parents address 
If this is the applicant’s parents’ address (or similar permanent home address), the date the applicant has been “at address since” in B37 should be the month and full year they originally moved into that address.

If the applicant has lived at this address for at least five years, the applicant must still provide details of all student addresses they have lived at during the last five years in section C “Other Addresses”, so that we have a full address history for that period.

As it is likely that there will be gaps between student addresses and between academic years, we will use the applicant’s parents’ address (or the similar permanent address supplied) to fill in the gaps.

If the applicant moved into their parents’ address less than five years ago, section C must include any previous family homes where the applicant has lived outside term-time during the last five years.

The applicant must inform us, on a continuation sheet, as to which of the addresses provided are, or have been, the main permanent residences. This information must not be written on the application form itself.


Student address
If the applicant prefers that we contact them and send their certificate to their student address, this should be provided at section B “current address” and their parents’ address (or similar permanent address) must be provided in section C “other addresses”.

The full address details of the halls of residence or other student accommodation lived at in the last five years must be recorded in section C.

If the applicant is still living at their most recent student address, the ‘dates from and to’ fields must be completed, but the ‘date to’ will be the month and year in which the applicant completes and signs the application form. This field must not be left blank or the application will be delayed.

Similarly, if the applicant’s parents’ address (or similar permanent address) where the applicant resides outside term-time has been provided in section c, the ‘date to’ will be the month and year that the applicant was last residing at this address.

The words ‘current’, ‘still there’, present’ or any similar phrases must not be recorded in any of the fields or anywhere else on the application form.

The form allows space for two additional addresses; any further additional addresses must be supplied on an official continuation sheet which can be downloaded here.

Applicants Working away from home
We do not need the details of addresses other than an applicant’s permanent residence: If at any time in the last five years they have been required to spend a day or two away from their permanent address due to their work. In these situations we do not need the details of hotels or similar types of residence they stayed in.

If the nature of their work, for example, a travelling salesman; locum; supply teacher; pastor; or speaker means that they are frequently spending one or two days in different places away from their permanent address. We do not require the details of each place they visited.

We do need you to provide the applicant’s alternative address details as well as the details of their permanent address if;
The applicant spends months at a time living at an alternative address that is not their permanent home address, we require the details of this residence and the dates between which they were living at the alternative address to be entered in section C.

The applicants work requires them to reside somewhere other than their home address during the week but they return to their permanent residence at weekends.

How we need you to complete the form
Ensure the applicant has used section B to provide the details of their permanent home address – and that they are aware we will use this address to write to them and send their CRB certificate to.

Ensure that they use section C to tell us about the other address they use on a frequent basis.

We require the month and year at which they first started to reside at that address and the month and year in which they last stayed at that address.

NB. The dates ‘from and to’ must be completed, so if the applicant continues to use this alternative address at the time of their application, please provide the current month and full year as the ‘date to’.

HM Armed Forces
If the applicant is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and they have a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) number, they may use this as their current address in section B, if relevant, as part of their five-year address history in section C.

Please be aware that due to a specific arrangement with HM Forces, the fields that are mandatory for all other forms of address are not required for BFPO addresses. The applicant can write their BFPO number in the ‘address’ field and leave the town/city, county, UK postcode and country fields blank.

If the applicant supplies the BFPO number as their current address, we still require the month and full year at which they began using this address in B37.

If the applicant is supplying the BFPO number as part of their ‘other addresses’ history in section C, we still require the ‘dates from and to’ that they used this address

Make sure to follow these simple steps when completing your Basic Disclosure application form in order to avoid delay.

All yellow fields must be completed. However, if you complete all other boxes and provide as much information as you can, it may speed up your application

Remember to send 3 ID documents back with the application form (photocopies). Within the 3 documents, you must prove your date of birth and current address.

Always remember to enter any middle names you have. Failure to do this may delay the processing of your application.

Please ensure that you complete the year moved into your current address and also any previous addresses.

You must provide a continuous 5 year address history even if you have lived outside of the UK and include the month and year moved into each address.

Please note that incorrect CRB forms cannot be processed and will delay your application.

Section E
The applicant must sign section E, failure to do this will result in the application being automatically rejected and returned.

Black Ink
You must complete your application using black ink, using any other colour will result in your application being automatically rejected and returned.

Please do not use tippex on your application, this is not permissible and your form will be rejected.

Section W
Your verifier must complete W58 and W59 in order for the application to be processed. They must also check that the name of the applicant, job title and company names are all correct.

Incorrect Spellings
Names that are spelt incorrectly cannot be corrected once the application is sent for processing, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their form is correct before they sign Section E.

A1 – Applicant Title
All applicants have a title, if they have completed “Mrs” or “Ms” we need to know the other surnames and forenames they have used (even if they no longer use them).

If an applicant chooses to call themselves “Ms” or they did not change their name when they married we need to be advised of this on a separate piece of paper enclosed within the application on return.

A2 – Surname 
Please make sure that your applicant enters their surname in this section, not their forename(s).

A3 – Forenames
Please enter all forenames including middle names. Even if you do not use them, we still need to know this information. Your middle name is usually shown on your driving licence and if you provide this as ID, it must match with the forenames on your application.

A4 – Any other names? 
If you cross “Yes” here then you must complete section A5 – A6 and A7 – this requires the month and year you used your previous names from and to.

If an applicant uses their married name as well as their maiden name for business purposes we need to be advised of this on a separate piece of paper enclosed within the application on return.

Make sure your name is spelt correctly and clearly as this is how it will appear on your completed CRB Certificate.

A24 - Do You Hold A Valid Passsport?
If you hold a valid passport of any nationality then answer “Yes” and the following fields must also be completed:

A25 – Passport Number
A26 – Nationality
A27 – Country of Issue

If you do not have a valid passport please cross “No” and leave A25 – A27 blank.

“Additional Information”

Please note when completing this section, you only need to complete one of the fields from B19 – B25.

The most popular field to complete is B19 - National Insurance Number.

A UK driving licence is made up of numbers and letters generated in accordance with the licence holder’s personal details.

If the driving licence number indicates a middle name but the applicant has not included it on the application form, a letter will be sent from the CRB to Personnel Checks to explain the discrepancy and request clarification. Until clarification is received, we will not be able to progress the application any further.

Please remember to carefully check the form before countersigning and sending it to the CRB.

See the table below for details of how the Driving Licence number is verified.

G A R D N 6 0 5 1 0 9 C 9 9 L Y 6 0



Characters Explanation
NNNNN This is the first five letters of your surname. If your surname has fewer than five letters, the remaining spaces will be made up using the number 9 (for example, LEE99).
YY Year of your birth
MM The second and third numbers are the month of your birth. (If you are female, ‘5’ is added to the second number and the total used as the second digit. So if you are a woman born in October the second and third numbers would be 60.)
DD The fourth and fifth digits are the day of the month you were born on.
II This is the first two initials of your first names followed by the first initial of your middle name. If you do not have a middle name, the second character will be a ‘9’. 

Computer check digits, randomly produced as a security measure.

LL This is the licence issue number, which will increase by one with every licence issued.


Once the applicant has completed Sections A, B, C and E of the application the verifier must complete the following:

Section W
The name of the nominated verifier must be entered in W58 and they must see enough valid and original ID for each applicant before they cross the “Yes” box in W59.

By completing Section W the verifier is confirming that they have seen and checked enough valid and original ID.  Please do not send photocopies of ID or original documents.

Section X
The verifier must also complete X61, X62 and X67.

Titles such as “Director” or “”Partner” are not recognised by the CRB as they are not specific enough.  You must provide more detail i.e. “Director of Training Company”.

Section Y
Please leave this blank. The verifier does not sign the application form as their details are in Section W.

Section Z
Please leave this blank as the CRB complete this section.

Basic Applications
Once you have completed your online DBS application form, you must then have 3 ID documents verified. Please choose 3 ID documents from this list - List of Valid Id Documents. 

You are then required to have the 3 chosen documents verified by a Post Office. 

Standard, Enhanced or Volunteer Applications
If you are applying for your check on behalf of a company, you will need to take your 3 original ID documents to your nominated ID verifier within the company/organisation who will then submit these on your behalf. 

To see a list of valid identity documents for these levels of check, please click here. 

Please do not complete section Y of your application form, this is for Personnel Checks to complete once the application form has been returned to us.

The only parts of the application form that the verifier needs to complete are the ‘Registered Body Use Only’ boxes, which are in sections A & B.

Please take extra care when completing this part of the application in order to avoid delays in the CRB application process.

Body Use Only’ boxes, which are in sections A & B.

Please take extra care when completing this part of the application in order to avoid delays in the CRB application process.

Please do not sign the white box on the back page of the CRB Application form.

This section is signed by a counter signatory at Personnel Checks. If this section is signed by the verifier the application will be rejected.

Please ensure that the evidence checkers appointed by your organisation are aware that they should never enter their signature in this box.