A guide to Voter ID
The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station.
You will need to bring photo ID to be able to vote at a polling station.
This page will explain which forms of photo ID you can use to vote. It also explains how to apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if you need one
How do I register to vote?
To vote at elections, you must be registered to vote.
If you’ve never registered, have recently moved to a different address, or changed your name, register to vote online at gov.uk/register-to-vote You can also apply by completing a paper application form.
If you need help registering to vote, or want to request an application form, contact us at email@example.com or call on 01623 463345.
Which forms of ID can I use to vote?
You will only need to show one form of photo ID, but it needs to be the original version and not a photocopy.
- a passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state, or a Commonwealth country
- a driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
- a biometric immigration document
- an identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
- a Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
- a Blue Badge
- a national identity card issued by an EEA state
- an Older Person’s Bus Pass
- a Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- an Oyster 60+ Card
- a Freedom Pass
- a Scottish National Entitlement Card issued in Scotland
- a 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- a Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- a Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- a Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- a War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- a 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- a Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- an Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
If you have a form of accepted photo ID which is out of date, you can still use it to vote at a polling station if it still looks like you.
If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.
You need to be registered to vote before you apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.
When you register to vote, you’ll be asked whether you have photo ID or if you want to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.
Applying for a Voter Authority Certificate
The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm, 6 working days before the poll, but you should apply as soon as possible in case we need to check any details with you.
You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online at Voter Authority Certificate Service.
You can also apply by completing a paper application form. You can also be able to apply in person at your local council office. If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request an application form, contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01623 463345.
What information do I need to give when I apply for a Voter Authority Certificate?
When applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, you will need to provide your:
• Name • Date of birth
• Address • National Insurance number
If you don’t know your National Insurance number, or don’t have one, you can still apply. We will contact you to request alternative proof of your identity. You will also need to submit a photograph with your application. The requirements for the photograph are similar to the requirements for a passport photo:
Your photo must be:
of you facing forward and looking straight at the camera
a close up of your head and shoulders, without any head covering, unless you wear one for religious beliefs or medical reasons. Your face must not be covered for any reason.
of you with a plain facial expression and with your eyes open and clearly visible (for example without sunglasses and not obscured with hair). Please note this does not apply if you are unable to provide a photograph which complies with either or both of those requirements due to any disability.
If you are unable to meet the requirements due to a disability, please contact us at email@example.com or call 01623 463345.
The photo must:
be a true likeness
be in colour
be taken against a plain, light background
be in sharp focus and clear
be free from ‘red-eye’, shadows which obscure the face, or reflection
not be damaged
If you apply online, the photo must be:
at least 750 pixels in height and 600 pixels in width
contained in an electronic file which is no more than 20MB in size
If you apply using a paper form, the photo must be:
at least 45 millimetres in height and 35 millimetres in width
no larger than 297 millimetres in height or 210 millimetres in width.
What will happen at the polling station?
When you arrive at the polling station, a member of staff will:
1. Ask you for your name and address so they can find you on the electoral register
2. Ask for your photo ID, and check if it is acceptable
3. If your ID is acceptable, they will give you your ballot paper and direct you to complete it in a polling booth as usual
A private area will be available at the polling station, so you can choose to have your photo ID viewed in private if you like. This might be a separate room, or an area separated by a privacy screen, depending on the polling station.
Staff at the polling station are there to help. If you need assistance at any point, just ask.
Are there other ways to vote?
Voting by Post
You don’t need to provide photo ID to vote by post.
To apply to vote by post, you’ll need to complete a postal vote application form and make sure it arrives with us by 5pm, 11 working days before the poll.
You will receive your ballot paper in the post. Complete and return your ballot paper, ensuring you leave enough time for it to arrive at the Civic Centre by 10pm on the day of the poll. If you can’t post your postal vote pack in time, you can take it to your polling station or to the Elections Office, Civic Centre, on polling day.
Voting by Proxy (allowing someone you trust to vote on your behalf)
To apply to vote by proxy, complete an application form and send it to the Elections Office, Civic Centre, to arrive by 5pm , 6 working days before the poll.
The person you choose to vote on your behalf will need to go to your polling station to vote and will need to show their own photo ID to be able to cast your vote. They will not need to show your ID when voting on your behalf.
In an emergency where you cannot go to the polling station in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on polling day.
Checklist for voting in person
- Have I registered to vote? https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- Do I have photo ID?
- Have I got photo ID to take to the polling station?
- If not, have I applied for a free voter ID?
- Have I voted?