The SIA have launched a new licence application service with the Post Office that makes applying for a new SIA licence easier and cheaper; most applicants will no longer need to post valuable documents and supply a photograph, which can be costly and inconvenient.

This is how it works:
1. Applicants register on the SIA website by going tohttp://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/apply and clicking on the register / log in link. A username and password is e-mailed to them.
2. The applicant logs in and fills out their application. At the end they receive an e-mail with an application reference number and are told which identity and other documents to take to one of over 700 participating post offices nationwide. Applicants must keep their application reference number safe as they will not be able to complete an application without it.
3. When the applicant goes to a post office, the post office staff check and return the applicant’s documents; they will also take a digital photograph of the applicant, take an electronic version of their signature, and take payment of the application fee. The applicant will not be charged by the Post Office for using the service.
4. The applicant’s photograph and signature are sent to us electronically by the Post Office. We add them to the application information already received and continue with our checks. A licence decision is made within 25 working days.
The new service will be available alongside existing methods of applying for a licence until early in 2014, when it will replace the paper application form as the way to apply for a new licence.

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