Gransnet forums


to rant at the elitism explicit in who can certify photocopies of proof of identity documents

(47 Posts)
bluebell Sat 08-Jun-13 09:05:16

Why is it only so-called professional people who can sign that a photocopy is a true likeness of the original for proof of identity? Why not my lovely next door neighbour who was a shop assistant for most of his life or the one across the road who was a motor mechanic? Oh wait - perhaps they can't read.....maybe they are intrinsically dishonest....prone to commiting crime of various kinds.So let's look at who can certify ...journalists..that'll include Andy Coulson them....doctors....pity Shipman's official....Fred Goodwin. I could go on but for goodness sake!!!

ginny Sat 08-Jun-13 09:26:34

No you are not unreasonable, I totally agree with you.

sunseeker Sat 08-Jun-13 09:32:25

I agree that it is a stupid rule - but not one that applies to everything. When I was closing an account held by my late husband I needed to supply a copy of his Will. As I was sending a photocopy all I had to do was write on it that it was a true copy of the original and sign it myself.

janeainsworth Sat 08-Jun-13 10:05:05

Actually Bluebell it isn't so great when you are the professional and you have to accede to these requests, especially when it's for family members who you haven't yet met, and you have to gently explain to them that you can't certify the photograph in those circumstances.
The form filling is quite tedious, and you have to put your own passport number on the applicant's form.
And before you ask, no I never charged my patients for doing this.
That's probably why I used to get so many of them wink

petallus Sat 08-Jun-13 10:15:52

It is annoying I agree and very inconvenient now that doctors won't do it.

j08 Sat 08-Jun-13 10:17:28

I can't agree with this one. It is absolutely imperative that such documents are signed by recognisable and traceable members of society. Any old Joe Soap would make it meaningless.

Movedalot Sat 08-Jun-13 10:24:08

Yes, I think j08 may be right otherwise there would be no point in getting something countersigned, you might just as well do it yourself. Surely most of us know someone in one of the quite wide ranging list of people who can sign?

harrigran Sat 08-Jun-13 10:34:32

I beg to differ Moved, DH did not have a problem because he was in a job where he was in contact with professionals all the time. I, on the other hand, have not worked for years. I had to pay a solicitor to sign the last form that required countersigning.

Movedalot Sat 08-Jun-13 10:49:18

harri I did say 'most' and I used that word deliberately as I knew there would be exceptions.

janeainsworth Sat 08-Jun-13 11:05:06

My friend who is a retired teacher countersigned my last passport application.
I don't think she or anyone else would regard the teaching profession as elitist.

j08 Sat 08-Jun-13 11:15:47

It's especially important to keep standards high in these days of terrorist threat. Paying a fee is a small price to pay for security.

nightowl Sat 08-Jun-13 11:24:50

Even social workers can countersign grin

nightowl Sat 08-Jun-13 11:25:53

Not that everyone wants to admit to knowing a social worker wink

Lilygran Sat 08-Jun-13 11:30:29

I don't have a problem with this kind of 'elitism'. I agree with jo, it has to be someone who is accountable in some way and it has to be someone who actually knows you are who you claim to be. Who would you suggest as suitable, bluebell? But I think there is a more problematic area of identification developing now the utility providers are urging us to pay our bills on line. How do you prove you are who you say you are, living at the address you claim to be living at? Not everyone has a driving licence! confused

j08 Sat 08-Jun-13 11:33:50

Night owl- yes, because they'll be on some register somewhere. smile

Lilygran - I so agree!

Greatnan Sat 08-Jun-13 12:27:15

My sister found it very inconvenient as the only professionals she knows apart from her doctor are family members. Her doctor was not helpful. Surely the fact that somebody has to put their own passport number is another hindrance - not everybody has a passport.

Galen Sat 08-Jun-13 12:41:42

I've done it for loads of friends and in the past patients. The judges at the tribunals do for mine and no we don't charge either.

petallus Sat 08-Jun-13 12:57:06

Some people don't have any friends in the professions (not even teachers. grin)

What do they do?

Luckily I have a friend who is both a social worker and a vicar and he signs absolutely everything for me and my extended family. Incidentally, he usually signs himself the Rev so presumably considers that qualification the more impressive of the two!

Charleygirl Sat 08-Jun-13 13:01:15

Now that I have retired I no longer have access to professionals on tap so to speak but a neighbour and friend is a magistrate so he can sign anything for me and he has known me for years.
My immediate neighbour is a doctor but was not born in this country so I have no idea if that counts.

Movedalot Sat 08-Jun-13 13:13:56

I seem to remember it can be the owner of a business too. If you are known at your corner shop then that would do.

Ana Sat 08-Jun-13 13:17:03

It can also be the licensee of a public house!

bluebell Sat 08-Jun-13 13:29:02

The particular instance I am involved in at the moment is certifying the true likeness of an original document as proof of identity for a blue badge. I had to give my name. sign, date and occuption. No address. For occupation, I wrote retired.......... I am not on a register anywhere (unlike Jane or Galen). So I don't actually think that my signature meant anything . I could have made the whole thing up as could the applicant. It just seems wrong to exclude a whole raft of decent, law abiding citizens from being able to carry out this task and that's what I find elitist. All the GPs in our area charge for this sort of signing - not for one minute do I think this should be any part of their job anyway, it's ludicrous. Also, I think it's elitist to think everyone knows someone who counts as appropriate. Of course it has to be someone who knows you are who you claim to be Lily - but why can't a retired shop assistant or a motor mechanic sign if they are your neighbour? If you had to give an address, the county council could then check against the electoral roll and would know how long you had been at that address - that would make much more sense than doing it by so called 'professions'. It's nice that Galen and jane do it for nothing however but it wouldn't happen here!

Galen Sat 08-Jun-13 13:44:47

A funeral director?hmm

granjura Sat 08-Jun-13 13:49:11

Perhaps one of the reasons is that someone in the 'professions' would be legally in trouble should they sign an official documents stating that they guarantee someone's identity - as jane said, she as a professional refuses to sign unless she does indeed know the person.

As far as paying for the service, I have no problem with this. The charge is small - we do not expect to get a service for nothing - be it a hairdresser or a mechanic, do we?

HildaW Sat 08-Jun-13 14:32:52

I think there might be a perception of elitism because its based on an old fashioned world view that if you have a professional qualification you can be traced and held accountable. However, in this day and age of scams and identity theft a more rigorous method needs to be designed. Something a bit more organised as in U.S. with their 'Notary' system, but then of course fees would be higher no doubt!