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What you need for an ID check

There may be times when we need to check your documents to confirm your identity (ID) and/or address (VA). This can be done several ways, but we’ll always let you know which is right for you when we ask you to complete these checks. What documents we can accept depends on where you're presenting them.

Take me straight to:

Uploading documents online

Presenting documents at a branch

Sending documents from outside the UK

Uploading documents online

What ID documents can we accept online?

You'll need to upload a photo of one of these documents:

  • passport
  • EU/EEA National Identity card (excluding locally issued cards - Greece and Romania)
  • UK photocard driving licence

You can't use a Biometric Residence Permit  as proof of identity. You'll need to upload a photo of your passport instead.

You can use your UK photocard full driving licence as both a proof of ID and proof of address

You can use your UK photocard provisional driving licence as proof of ID, but you will also need to upload an acceptable proof of address. We can't accept your provisional driving licence alone.

What proof of address documents can we accept online?

If you uploaded your UK photocard full driving licence as a proof of ID, you don't need to upload a separate proof of address. Otherwise, upload a photo of one of these documents:

  • UK photocard driving licence
  • UK bank or credit card statement
  • Council Tax bill
  • HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) tax notification
  • UK personal tax summary
  • mortgage statement
  • Sky, cable TV or utility bill
  • Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus or Veterans UK letter confirming your right to benefits

When uploading statements and bills, make sure that:

  • the document is addressed to you
  • the document is dated within the last 4 months
  • you upload the page that shows your name and address

If using Council Tax bills, these need to be either for the current billing year and dated within the last 13 months, or next billing year and dated within last 4 months.

Presenting documents at a branch

If you only have a limited number of documents, it's better to visit a branch instead - because we can accept a wider range of documents that way.

What ID documents can we accept at a branch?

You'll need to bring one of these documents:

  • passport
  • EU/EEA National Identity card (excluding locally issued cards from Greece and Romania)
  • travel documents (issued in the UK by the Home Office)
  • full UK photocard driving licence
  • full UK paper driving licence
  • HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) tax notification
  • Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus or Veterans UK letter confirming your right to benefits. This includes online Universal Credit statements, which can only be used for Basic Bank Accounts
  • Biometric UK Residence Permit (Basic Bank Account customers only)
  • full UK birth certificate (under 18s only)1
  • National Health Service letter (under 18s only)

You can use your valid, full UK photocard driving licence to confirm both your address and identity.

If you don't live in the UK, you must always present a passport or national identity card.

What proof of address documents can we accept in branch?

We'll need to see the original (not a copy) of one of the following documents:

  • Council Tax bill (for current year) – including online bills
  • utility bill (dated within last 4 months), including UK online bills
  • phone bill (dated within the last 4 months). Mobile phone bills are not acceptable
  • satellite or cable TV bills (dated within the last 4 months), including UK online bills
  • credit card bill (dated within the last 4 months), including UK online credit card statements. Certain conditions may apply for financial providers outside the UK
  • bank, building society, or credit union statement – showing current activity (dated within the last 4 months). Including UK online bank statements. Certain conditions may apply for financial providers outside the UK
  • mortgage statement from a recognised lender (dated within the last 12 months)
  • HMRC tax notification
  • tenancy agreement (must be from a local council or reputable lending agency)
  • Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus or Veterans UK letter confirming your right to benefits (dated within the last 4 months). This includes online Universal Credit statements
  • National Health Service letter (under 18s only)
  • conditional or unconditional proof of acceptance on to qualifying course – letter or slip issued by UCAS (student accounts only)
  • letter from a UK Border Agency-accredited college or university confirming your acceptance onto a qualifying course
  • local education authority (LEA) notice of financial support (student bank accounts only)
  • letter from employer, confirming your address and that you currently work for them (it must be a known employer)

You can use UK online bank statements, UK online utility bills and online Council Tax bills to confirm your address when used with a passport, UK photocard driving licence or national identity card (EEA and Swiss nationals only) to confirm your identity.

Statements issued by HSBC Group outside of the UK, HSBC Private Bank, first direct, John Lewis Partnership and M&S Bank are acceptable.

Credit card statements from HSBC Business, corporate or store cards aren't accepted.

Sending documents from outside the UK

This advice can vary depending on where you live. The process can be completed online or via post. We'll advise exactly what you'll need to provide, and which channel is relevant to you.

What ID documents are accepted if I'm outside the UK?

Provide one of the following documents, either by posting a certified copy, or by uploading photos of the original documents online.

  • your current passport or travel document (copies of passports should include all pages that contain signatures, the passport number and any extension dates where applicable)
  • your current national identity card (EEA or Swiss nationals only, excluding Romanian and Greek national identity cards)

What proof of address documents are accepted if I'm outside the UK?

You'll need one of the following:

  • a utility bill dated within the last 4 months
  • a bank statement dated within the last 4 months

Statements from HSBC Group outside of the UK are acceptable.

Certifying non-UK documents

We can only accept non-UK documents if certified by an independent authority.

You don't need to certify originals of passports and ID cards uploaded online.

All other documents (including copies of passports and ID cards received in the post) be must be certified.

You'll need to do one of the following:

  • if you're resident in a country or region of equivalent jurisdiction to the UK, contact your local bank and ask them to certify your documents. If you're not sure if this applies to you, please get in touch with our team on 03457 404 404. If you're a Premier customer, please call 03457 70 70 70
  • contact the UK Embassy or Consulate where a certification service is provided
  • contact a lawyer, solicitor or barrister in your country/region of residence listed on the Legal 500 or on this UK Government list of lawyers abroad.

Ask your chosen certifier to write a note on the document they are certifying, as follows.

For copies of documents which include a photo of you:

I [full name of certifier] confirm that this is an accurate copy of the original [type of document] and the photo is a true likeness of the named person.

For copies of documents without a photo of you (proofs of address):

I [full name of certifier] confirm this is an original [type of document], in the name of [applicant's name] issued by [issuing institution] on [date of issue].

For original proof of address documents to be uploaded online:

I [full name of certifier] confirm this is an original [type of document], in name of [applicants name] issued by [issuing institution] on [date of issue].

You don't need to certify original passports and ID cards before uploading.

Your certifier should also write:

  • their signature and full name
  • their occupation, company (or professional) address and phone number
  • their professional registration number (if they have one)
  • the date 

If you use the the postal process, you'll need to send us the certified documents using the pre-paid envelope we provided.

Please print and complete the return form (PDF) for certified documents and enclose it with your certified documents and then send them to:

HSBC Bank Plc

Customer Service Centre

BX8 1HB

We can only accept the  full (otherwise known as ‘long’ or ‘A4’) UK birth certificate because it contains the child's details, parents’ details and exact place of birth. The short version doesn’t include these details.

It's easy to answer your query online. Visit our Help page to find out how.