DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service is an online subscription service that lets you keep your standard and enhanced DBS certificates up-to-date. It also allows employers to check a certificate online, with your consent.

You can use your certificate again when you apply for a position within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required.

The 3 workforces are child, adult and other.

Registration lasts for one year. The service costs £13 per year and starts from the date your DBS certificate was issued. The £13 fee is payable by debit or credit card only.

Benefits of joining:

  • saves you time and money
  • you can take your DBS certificate from role to role (if within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required)
  • employers can carry out instant online status checks on DBS certificates that are linked to your subscription
  • the service enhances safeguarding processes

Joining the Update Service

Only applicants that apply for a DBS check can join the Update Service.

If you are joining the Update Service when you apply for a DBS check, or during the application process, you can join using your DBS application form reference number. This can be found in the top right-hand corner of the front page of the application form, or you can ask the person who submits your application for it.

If you join the Update Service using your application form reference number as mentioned above, your application must be received by the DBS within 28 days of you joining. When your DBS certificate is issued, we will then automatically add it to your account and your subscription to the service will be live.

You can also join the Update Service when you receive your DBS certificate, by using your certificate number. If you choose to do this, you must join the Update Service within 30 days of the ‘date of issue’ displayed on your certificate.

If you applied for a DBS check through an e-bulk Registered Body, you can join the Update Service using your e-reference whilst your check is being processed. The e-bulk provider will be able to provide your e-reference number.

You can also use your DBS certificate number within 30 calendar days from the ’date of issue’ displayed on your certificate.

If you want to join the Update Service from overseas, the same processes as above apply.


You must renew your subscription each year however the Update Service now offers you the chance to Auto Renew your subscription when you first join the update service so you don’t have to log into your account each year to renew manually. Unfortunately you can’t set up an auto renew at any other point so if you haven’t opted to auto renew when you first joined the service then you must manually do this every year.

Subscriptions last for one year from the ‘date of issue’ displayed on your DBS certificate – after this, your subscription will expire. You can renew to continue enjoying the benefits of the Update Service.

If you haven’t opted to automatically renew, you will need to log in to your account and make a payment within 30 days before your subscription ends.

You will receive an email reminder 30 calendar days before your subscription is due to expire. The email will be sent from donotreply@dbs.gov.uk - you should add this address to your ‘safe senders’ or ‘safe recipients’ list.

If your subscription has not been renewed 14 days before the expiry date, you will receive a reminder letter too.

Lost DBS Certificates

If you lose your DBS certificate, your employer should not carry out an online status check. Your employer needs to see the original copy of your DBS certificate before they carry out a status check. If your employer has not seen the original copy, you will need to apply for a new DBS certificate.

For more information about the Update Service visit the UK Government’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-update-service-applicant-guide