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Helping your users with their passport queries

It’s possible a user may not believe the result of a DCS check is correct. For example, a user may make a mistake entering their passport details into your service and receive a valid: false response even though their passport is valid.

This documentation will help you answer your users’ passport queries.

  1. Be aware of known valid: false passport issues.
  2. Allow your users to have the check made again.
  3. Consider offering your users an alternative route.
  4. Direct your users to the Passport Advice Line.

Be aware of known valid: false passport issues

There’s a known issue with readings from the near-field communication (NFC) chips in passports. Some users may receive a false-negative result. There’s guidance on how to reduce errors when using data from a passport chip.

To make your users aware of this known possible issue, you could:

  • reiterate this information in a separate email to your users
  • flag this as a possible issue when you’re building your service so a user can adjust their input

Allow your users to have the check made again

It’s likely that a check will have failed due to user error, for example a user misspelling their name. Allowing your users to re-enter their details and have the check made again can help solve this problem.

Consider offering your users an alternative route

You could offer your users alternative routes to access your service for example:

  • if a user does not want to provide their passport details over the internet, you could offer them an in-person alternative
  • if a user fails a DCS check, you could provide an alternative route to access your service without a DCS check being made

Even if a user can access your service through an alternative route, they may still have concerns about their passport validity. If this is the case, you should direct your users to the Passport Advice Line.

Direct your users to the Passport Advice Line

If a DCS check has returned a valid: false response, your users may have doubts about whether their passport is valid (or red-flagged).

You should direct users who are concerned about the status of their passport to the Passport Advice Line. This final check will give your users reassurance about whether their passport is valid.

This page was last reviewed on 16 October 2020.