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Voter ID requirement

Voters in England now need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections.

Voter ID promotional image

Contents


When you will need photo ID

Voters in England now need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations for:

  • Local elections
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections
  • UK parliamentary by-elections
  • Recall petitions.

From October 2023, the requirement will also apply to general elections in the UK.

This requirement is the law. If you don't show photo ID, you will not be able to vote at a polling station.

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Accepted forms of ID

You will only need to show one form of photo ID when voting at a polling station. It needs to be the original version and not a photocopy.

You can still use your photo ID if it's out of date, as long as it looks like you.

The name on your ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.

Here are some examples of the accepted forms of photo ID:

  • Passport issued by┬áthe UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
  • A Blue Badge
  • Older Persons Bus Pass
  • Disabled Persons Bus Pass
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • Freedom Pass
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland.

Here is the full list of accepted forms of Voter ID.

If your photo ID is lost, stolen or damaged before an election you are entitled to apply for an emergency proxy.

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How to get free photo ID

You can apply for a free voter ID document from the government known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

You only need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if:

  • You do not have an accepted form of photo ID
  • You no longer look like the photo on your ID
  • The name on your photo ID is different to your name on the electoral register.

You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if you don't want to use an existing form of ID for any reason, such as the use of a gender marker.

You need to be registered to vote in order to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online or download a paper copy of the application form and apply by post.

If you need additional help to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, we can arrange for you to visit us at our offices to complete the application. Please contact our Electoral Services team to discuss.

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More information

The Electoral Commission produced an information booklet full of information about the photo ID requirement for the May 2023 local elections in England.

Cover thumbnail of pdf booklet

For more information, please visit the Electoral Commission's Voter ID webpage.

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