Unable to get a passport because I don't know anyone


I have autism and can't tolerate having friends/socialising. I'm housebound and only go out very rarely, such as to get vaccinated. This has resulted in me having nobody to confirm my identity. I don't even have a social worker. I've never been to church as an adult, due to sensory overload and anxiety.

I have not been employed since my 20s, due to other severe disabilities. I don't know my current neighbours. I knew a neighbour who lives near my mother, but I haven't seen her for over a decade. I would not be able to ask her. My mother still knows her, but refuses to ask her or help me. I did know fellow home education parents, but none of them worked. Passport rules disqualified them from vouching for me.

I was born in UK and have lived here for 41 years. But I've never had a passport. I'm unable to open the bank account of my choice (with best interest rate) because I have no photo ID. And I feel trapped here. I've never been on holiday. I've never been able to take my 15 year old on any foreign day trip, to France etc.

Does anyone have any ideas please?



  • I have a similar problem.

    Don't know how to solve it.

  • To obtain a first adult passport, you must know the person vouching for you, for at least 2 years. They can't be family. And they must hold a passport of their own + have a recognized profession. You can't for example just ask your GP, unless they know you personally.

    And it's not a renewal. To renew you can probably get anyone to countersign a photo. They are just saying you look like the photo. But unfortunately that's not my situation.

    I can't apply for a driving licence because I suffer from blackouts and my GP is aware of this. It will be in my medical record. Plus there's no way I could pass a driving test, due to poor memory.

    I can very occasionally go out. It depends a lot on my fibromyalgia. Plus I can only leave my home with a very close member of my family, such as my child. And under very controlled scenarios, where speaking/interacting with others is not expected. And the travel and location will be deserted. Such as out of season, less popular destinations- maybe a deserted beach hotel.

  • I sympathize.  I actually have a passport, but I don't remember who I used.

    I suggest asking, and this depends on your circumstances, a case worker, social worker, mental health professional, teacher.

  • Hi, have you thought of applying for a provisional driving license. The photo can be signed by the list I’ve attached. It will at least get you into the system and give you a  photo I.D. I think you can then use it to open a bank account. 

    e person signing the form and photo must:

    • hold a valid GB photocard driving licence
    • be resident in the UK
    • know you personally
    • not be a relative
    • not be living at the same address as you

    Suitable people include a current or retired:

    • local business person or shopkeeper
    • librarian
    • professionally qualified person, for example a lawyer, teacher or engineer
    • police officer
    • bank or building society staff member
    • civil servant
    • minister of religion
    • magistrate
    • local councillor
    • Member of Parliament, Assembly Member, or Member of the Scottish Parliament
  • Thank you for your reply.

    Making a fake friendship, just to obtain a passport, is unfair to any person I would ask. Because it's using them purely to obtain something for myself. I'd stop talking to them immediately after. And it also feels cruel to me. Mixing with those other than family, forces me to put on a mask, that kills me inside. This is not something that therapy can change. I've had talking therapy and meds etc. It doesn't help at all. And just makes me feel worse.

    I'm unsure what an autism assessment for 1-1 support is. I have a feeling it's something not offered to adults in my Borough. And even if it was- I don't have a problem with confidence, self-esteem & worth. I know I'm worthy of friends if I want them etc. I know how to make friends- I spent my childhood being forced to speak to others. To 'look normal'. Any refusal to act normal, was met with taunts from my mother of 'that's what problem children do'.

    My mother is 75 and visits me daily, to see my daughter. I should've premised this relationship with the fact that she has been very abusive to me as an adult and was neglectful when I was a child. I was only diagnosed at age 31. My mother was poor and kept me quiet as a child because my father was a violent alcoholic who hit me (she wanted to be able to keep child-minding). I also kept to myself. 

    My mother refuses to understand autism doesn't have a cure. Claiming she had no idea what it was. But she made no effort to find out when I was diagnosed. She's very much of the view that if others with the condition can do something, then so could I. She feels it's comparable to the slight anxiety she fees, when doing something that she doesn't like. It doesn't help that I'm unable to express pain or even mild distress. No matter how I try, I'm forced to put on a mask when not around very close family. I could be at deaths door and I'd still appear as I always do. 

    I don't go to my mothers home, it's too far for me to get to. I have no opportunity to see my neighbour. Not that I did much when I lived with my mother until I was 24. Only seeing the neighbour, when she came around to get her spare house key, very occasionally. She's in her 70s.

  • Thank you for your reply.

    Those rules seem very much the same as for a passport. If I had anyone who fit that criteria, then Id have someone who could help me get a passport. But I don't.

  • Thank you

    Unfortunately I don't have any of those. 

  • I know it must be hard to imagine. But I genuinely don't want friends. I'm very happy with just seeing my daughter. She goes out regularly and sees others. And I'm happy she enjoys that. But that is definitely not for me.

    The problem is that not having a passport is affecting both our lives. Even having an at home blood test, photo ID required. Opening a chase bank account, not possible without photo ID. Taking my daughter on a day trip abroad, not possible without a passport. We have been to UK beaches, but she's bored of that now.