factchecking myths and misconceptions about universal credit

“I must have photo ID to start a claim”

The short answer:

No ... you don't need photo ID

You will be asked to bring evidence of your ID at your first interview with your work coach.

You don't have to have photo ID to claim universal credit. If you don't have photo ID you can take other evidence to your interview instead, such as - 

  • evidence of your address if you have one, eg electricity or gas bill, council tax bill, bank statement, official letters;
  • evidence of who you are, eg birth or marriage certificate.

Have a look at the link below to see other examples of evidence you can use.

Try and take at least three forms of evidence if you can.

If you haven't got photo ID, or other ID, your work coach can ask you security questions instead - have a look at the link below to see what questions you might be asked.

More examples of evidence and security questions.

NB - If you can't answer the security questions, a third party may be able to confirm your ID instead if you consent.

Tip: When you complete the online claim you are given the option to verify your identity using gov.uk/verify. When you use this site you are provided with a verification code which is only valid for 20 minutes. If there is a delay with the code coming through you might not see it in time and will have to start the process again which could delay your claim. It may be easier to take your ID into your first interview at the jobcentre instead.

Official guidance:

A checklist of acceptable ID is available from guidance placed in the House of Commons Library.

Need more help?

If you need help in finding out more about your rights and the options available to you, do consider contacting a local independent advice organisation. 

Enter a postcode on our advicelocal site to find details of advice organisations in your area. They will usually be able to offer free advice and support, and help to answer any questions you have.

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