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inflatable dalek
2014-05-23, 12:04 PM
For year's I've had no birth certificate due to it vanishing during a move, but just recently got a bit tired of having no proper formal ID (after all, how do I know I really am who I say I am?), and so sent off for a copy with the intent of getting a passport and maybe even going abroad next year. Mainly to Paris in order to do the "Bye bye Duggen!" thing.

The birth certificate has arrived, and very nice it is (my father was born in Bewdly! I never knew that. Explains a lot [/local humour]), but from looking at THIS (https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-adult-passport/documents-you-must-send-with-your-application) page, you can't send certified copies of documents, and this birth certificate has "CERTIFIED COPY" written in large letters across is, so presumably it's not suitable?

Is there some sort of special birth certificate replacement I should have sent off for? I did think at the time it was a bit odd I could do it online without having to go to my place of birth (Bromsgrove, explains a lot [/local humour]) and prove who I was at the time.

I'm just glad I was born before 1983 and only have to send my own birth certificate, if I'd have had to send a parents as well I'd be doubly screwed as I think my mother only has a copy as well.

I'm also worried by the "Reputable" person you need to countersign the form bit, as I don't know anyone from the list of professions used as suggestions (even my last GP is now long retired/dead) and have come to realise I only know deeply untrustworthy and shifty types.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-05-23, 12:23 PM
Can't you just use some psychic paper instead?

(Sorry, not much real advice to impart. Your GP should sign the photo for you I'd have thought, but may charge a fee. Alternatively, time to discover a God other than James Roberts/The Moff and get to know your friendly, local religious leader?)

inflatable dalek
2014-05-23, 12:29 PM
It says you need too have known the person for two years, whoever my GP would be now I've not even met as I've been lucky to have generally solid health since before my main one retired.

Come to think of it, I do know a couple of special constables, even part time coppers probably count. Probably best to go for the one I've known longer even if he has, IIRC, given it up as I'd quite like to sleep with the other one and as such if I were going to get them to do me a favour, it wouldn't be that.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-05-23, 12:31 PM
With hobby bobby #2, you could offer favours for a favour, perhaps? ;)

inflatable dalek
2014-05-23, 01:04 PM
"Stamp my passport" ect ect.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-05-23, 01:44 PM
Do you have an entry visa, sir? Business or pleasure? Do you intend to stay for longer than 6 months? etc etc

Brendocon 2.0
2014-05-23, 02:03 PM
I'm also worried by the "Reputable" person you need to countersign the form bit, as I don't know anyone from the list of professions used as suggestions (even my last GP is now long retired/dead) and have come to realise I only know deeply untrustworthy and shifty types.

You don't know a teacher, dentist, optician, nurse, pharmacist, solicitor, social worker, accountant or anybody who runs their own company?

Not even a pub landlord?

inflatable dalek
2014-05-23, 02:18 PM
You don't know a teacher, dentist, optician, nurse, pharmacist, solicitor, social worker, accountant or anybody who runs their own company?

Not even a pub landlord?


None well enough to qualify for this (at least ones who aren't family anyway), closest would be a couple of friends who are (receptively) married to a teacher and an accountant, but I barely know them.

Hmm, actually I'll be having a drink with someone who used to run their own company (and in doing so once ****ed off Ben Elton) before getting sucked into Tesco, I suppose they'd actually qualify wouldn't they? Mind, I really can't get my head around anyone I work with being respectable.

This is presuming you're supposed to do this properly and go for someone you've known well for more than two years, do most people just grab anyone who qualifies, bung them a fiver and hope the "Check" questions aren't too tricky? It's possible the website is making it sound a lot more formal and pompous than it actually is.

I am mildly worried about the interview as well, there's no way I'll cope well with questions about me only I can answer.

As you may be able to tell, formal forms always intimidate the hell out of me.

Mind, I did have a practice run through the on-line version earlier (though as you presumably still have to send off your birth certificate and stuff filling it in on-line seems rather pointless) and it seemed fairly painless. I will have to find out my father's birthday at some point though...

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-05-23, 02:59 PM
I believe the Post Office offer a passport form checking service for a small fee. Going down this route also accelerates the application process, I believe. Might be worth it to avoid the worry of sending off an incorrect form.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-23, 03:03 PM
I believe the Post Office offer a passport form checking service for a small fee. Going down this route also accelerates the application process, I believe. Might be worth it to avoid the worry of sending off an incorrect form.


Excellent idea Sir! I see you are better for more than just innuendo.

Luckily there's not a desperate rush (I'm assuming France will still be there in a year), it's just one of those things I've really got the bit between my teeth over at the moment.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-05-23, 03:54 PM
Shhh, don't tell anyone. You'll give me a bad reputation.

Denyer
2014-05-23, 06:14 PM
This is presuming you're supposed to do this properly and go for someone you've known well for more than two years, do most people just grab anyone who qualifies, bung them a fiver and hope the "Check" questions aren't too tricky?
Pretty much. i.e. I'm fairly sure I can do it, if you're stuck and mail me stuff -- known you for longer than required, can vouch for likeness, senior officer in local govt finance, etc.

As far as admissible documents / exceptions processes go, I'd try the Post Office first. They'll be used to people not having particular papers.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-23, 09:25 PM
It turns out one of the people in my local is a fireman and he's agreed to sign the thing for me despite us mostly sharing about five words in the last four years. But he also does this a lot and everyone did indeed agree this never gets checked up on and I was indeed being over literal.

It also seems that whatever "Certified Copy" means on the website in terms of what you shouldn't send in has nothing in common with the "Certified Copy" as written on the new birth certificate. Indeed, what I didn't know (mainly through never really having thought about how birth certificates work before, once it's pointed out it actually feels insanely obvious) is that no one ever gets their original birth certificate, that stays in the district (?) you're born in, mainly in case you ever need a copy or your descendants 500 years from now want to check up on you. Even when you're a little shitting baby you only get given a copy.

One thing that has annoyed me is the full birth certificate is A4, but it got sent in an envelope that meant it had to be folded in half. And it it was already slightly battered when I pulled it out, presumably from the vigour of the post office. Would it really have been so hard to send it in an A4 envelope with a card backing? Or at least with a "Do not bend" note on it? This is a vital and important document, it should really at least arrive in pristine condition even if the postage is slightly more.

Then it's my job to slowly destroy it.

Something that had never really clicked is that I have had a passport before, thanks to the school trip to France when I was 8ish. Before the "Has your name ever been on a passport before?" question I'd totally forgotten that would have been the case.

What really surprised me though is that, despite only being born 32 years ago, is that my birth certificate has a space for my father's occupation ("Telephone engineer", five years earlier it would have been "Postman", ah the good old days when the GPO basically run everything. Once he made the transfer from posting letters to fixing phone wires he was basically made for life as by the '90's he was the only person left working for BT who knew how to fix a specific type of telegraph pole. Fair to say he ****ed that up) but not my mother's.

That's just so insanely sexist it feels as if it should come from a lot longer ago that 30 years. Worse than that (though I'm hoping this is one of those things you hear in pubs that isn't true) they haven't changed in three decades. It seems they're happy for sexual inequality to be displayed right from the off on the birth certificate rather than go to the effort of changing the laws that would be needed to either put the mother's occupation on there as well or (and this makes more sense to me) not bothering to have a space for either parents job on there.

Knightdramon
2014-05-23, 09:49 PM
Do you really need a passport to travel to other EU nations? I don't think I need one going back and forth from Greece, just keep it on me for formalities.

You can check the Shengen list [or something like that] to check exactly which countries this applies for.

Regardless. yes, Brits generally do so many things right in the public services, but this one has a glaring ERROR on it since my first day in the country. Besides a passport, if you don't have a driver's license, you have like 0 form of ID.

Kind of baffled it has taken you this long [by fault of the relevant services] to get things sorted out. Usually it takes me less than 5 minutes over the phone with any government agency to sort things out here. Your story sounds as if it happened in Greece :lol:

inflatable dalek
2014-05-23, 09:58 PM
Well, five minutes on the internet ordering the birth certificate, the rest is only taking so long because of me asking questions in order to do it right! ;)

Surely you need a passport to go between countries, even within the EU, if only to prove you actually are a EU citizen with collecting tickets/crossing boarders?

At the moment I have no legally recognised form of ID that would even let me enter a nightclub in Portsmouth (the one and only place in the country I still get asked to prove my age, I'll let you decide if it's because it's a big student city or because Cliffy lives nearby that makes them extra careful), surely I couldn't just get on a train to France on the same?

TBH, as with the "What happens to your real birth certificate" thing in a never having spent much time wondering about it sense, I'd have thought they were necessary to get on a plane even when flying within the UK.

Knightdramon
2014-05-24, 08:18 AM
Hmmm...yeah, should have clarified that I always have my Greek ID card with me, which is why I can hop around [or theoretically hop around] countries without a passport.

But the issue still baffles me...what if you get into a fight or something and are arrested/end up in a hospital. How can they match who you are with who you say you are? :lol:

Denyer
2014-05-24, 09:15 AM
There's a long tradition of semi-anonymity over here (and more widely historically in the Empire -- people could just up and vanish and go off on jolly adventures...) The get-people-to-carry-ID-cards concept has proven unpopular enough that politicians haven't been braindead or bullish enough to get it through. Too much of a "papers please, citizen" vibe recalling the East/West Germany split, is the main thing.

Most people will have something with a name on it or be conscious if needing medical treatment (which is socialised so the reason for checking is to get in touch with family) and police can't trust IDs anyway. And the relative minority of people buying alcohol from supermarkets that don't have driving licenses but are obviously over age will get along fine with chewing out a store manager if challenged; it's not like the US where you get the idiocy of seniors being carded.