How Can an Unusual Address History Affect a DBS Check?

DBS checks have been in place for individuals and businesses across the UK to use since 2012, and in the time since, services like those provided by our team here at Online DBS Checks have made the whole DBS process much more straightforward. However, specific issues can cause delays to the review and processing of your DBS application, one of which is an unusual or incorrect address history.

To learn why a complete address history is important and how to resolve any problems caused by you having an unusual address history, continue reading this blog post.

Why is an Address History Important?

The Disclosure and Barring Service will only provide a prompt service if the individual’s address history is provided, as this is one of the most crucial parts of the DBS application form. If this information isn’t accurate, doesn’t cover the last five years, or is missing certain information, the results of your DBS check could be incorrect.

If this incorrect information means that the checking service you’re using can’t verify whether you’ve had any problems with the law, this would have the severe consequence of putting children and vulnerable adults at risk. Therefore, to protect both you and the DBS checking service you use, this situation will typically lead to the verification process being paused or the entire application being rejected.

This means that you must provide accurate information for the last five years unless you have an unusual address history which makes that impossible. To learn more about resolving this situation, first, you need to understand what classifies as a reason for an unusual address history.

What is an ‘Unusual’ DBS Check Address History?

The modern world that we live in means that there are plenty of scenarios in which your address history may be deemed as ‘unusual’. All of these are valid reasons that you could have a gap in your address history and require you to take steps to resolve this issue.

Examples of these scenarios include:

  • Living at university during term time whilst also living at a parents’ address
  • Travelling for long periods
  • Living overseas
  • Working away from home
  • Living on a canal boat, cruise ship or a merchant vessel
  • Living in a refuge or sheltered accommodation
  • Having no fixed abode
  • Being in prison
  • Being a member of HM Armed Forces

How to Resolve an Unusual Address History

As the above scenarios are all completely reasonable, the Disclosure and Barring Service have a solution that could help you. The Unusual Address Guide is accessible online and provides instructions on proceeding with your DBS online application if your address history is unusual.

Along with this, there are several pieces of more general advice from the DBS that still apply if you have an unusual address history. This includes:

  • Make sure that you provide the address where you’re currently living on the application form, as the DBS will write to this address to send you the results of your BasicStandard or Enhanced DBS check.
  • Every address field is compulsory, apart from the county you live in.
  • Provide any other addresses that you’ve lived at within the last five years, along with the month and year you moved in and out.

How do the DBS Check Addresses?

To ensure that the information every applicant has provided is genuine, the Disclosure and Barring Service check addresses against a range of sources. These can include speaking to relevant parties such as landlords and local police, reviewing bank records, driving licence information and more to check a person's address history.

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