As part of recent changes to the law you will need to show photographic identification (photo ID) at the polling station before you can be issued with your ballot papers.
The voting process remains the same – all you need to remember is a form of accepted photo ID. You will only need to show one form of photo ID, but it must be the original and not a photocopy.
This has been introduced to reduce the risk of voter fraud. By showing photo ID, the potential for someone to falsely represent someone, and steal their vote at the polling station, should be reduced to zero.
You can use any of the following forms of photo ID to be able to vote at a polling station:
- 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
- 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.
What if my photo ID is out of date?
It does not matter if your photo ID is out of date. Expired forms of photo ID will be accepted if the photograph is still a good likeness of you.
How can I vote if I do not have an accepted form of photo ID?
If you do not already have an accepted form of photo ID, you can apply for a free document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, which can be used as as your photographic ID. You can apply online. For further information visit GOV.UK website.
You need to be registered to vote before you apply. To check if you are registered please call our helpline on 01628 683868.
If you are unable to apply online, please visit one of our libraries where a member of the team will help you.
Our libraries offer drop-in support sessions, for more information, please visit our library events webpage.
The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate for our elections on Thursday 4 May 2023 is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.
What if the name on my ID is different to the electoral register?
If you present an accepted form of photographic ID, on which your name varies from your name on the register of electors, if the variation does not give the Poll Clerk reason to doubt you are who you claim to be, you will be issued with a ballot paper.
Examples of where this could happen are:
- a variation in spelling;
- using a double-barrelled surname;
- using a middle name instead of a first name;
- using a shortened version of your full name;
- using a maiden name.
If the Poll Clerk has a reason to doubt you are who you claim to be, you will be referred to the Presiding Officer, who will discuss the difference with you, and you may be asked to provide additional evidence to help make a connection between the photographic ID and your name on the register.
Examples of evidence that could be requested:
- marriage certificate;
- divorce papers;
- deed poll paperwork;
- birth certificate;
Can I use my Royal Borough Advantage Card as a form of ID?
No. This does not fall within the requirements for accepted photographic ID. Please see a full list of accepted ID on the Electoral Commission's website.