From May, voters across the UK will need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections. From October, this will also apply to general elections.
Previously, in England, Scotland and Wales, you didn’t need to take anything with you when visiting a polling station to vote. But from Thursday 4 May, voters will need to show photo ID to vote in person in these elections:
· UK parliamentary by-elections (in England, Scotland and Wales)
· Recall petitions (in England, Scotland and Wales)
From October 2023 this will also apply to UK general elections.
Which forms of ID can I use to vote?
You may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable. You can use any of the following:
- 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)
- Driving licence (issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state, includes provisional driving licences)
- PASS card (identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram)
- Biometric immigration document
- Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
- National identity card issued by an EEA state
- Blue Badge
- Older Person’s Bus Pass
- Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- Freedom Pass
- Scottish National Entitlement Card
For more information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted, visit electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.
What if my ID is out of date?
You can still use your photo ID if it’s out of date, but the photo needs to look like you and the name must be the same name you registered with to vote.
If you don’t have an accepted form photo ID
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 can apply for this at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk
Alternatively, you can complete a paper application form and send this to the electoral services team at your local council.
If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request an application form, contact your local council. To find their contact details visit electoralcommission.org.uk/voter
Registered to vote anonymously?
When you register to vote, your name appears on the electoral register. You can register to vote anonymously if you think your name and address being on the electoral register could affect your safety, or the safety of someone in your household.
If you’re registered to vote anonymously and want to vote in person, you can apply for an Anonymous Elector’s Document to use as ID. The Electoral Commission says you should apply as soon as possible in case your local council need to check any details with you.
Find out more
If you have any questions or would like to find out more, go to electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID, or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.