Last Updated: 6 September 2023
The Register of Electors is a list of the names and addresses of everyone eligible to vote in elections. You can only vote if your name is on the Register.
Paying council tax doesn't automatically add you to the Register. Telling the council tax department or one of our other council departments that you have moved won't change your address on the Register either. Registering to vote is a different process.
There are two different versions of the Register, the Open Register and the Electoral Register (also referred to as the 'Full Register').
This is an edited version of the Register and can be sold to anyone on request. It is also known as the 'Edited Register'.
The Electoral Register (or 'Full Register')
This is a list of the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote in elections. The Full Register is used mainly for electoral purposes (such as making sure only eligible people can vote) and also for limited purposes set out in law, such as calling people for jury duty and detecting fraud.
It's a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything else.
Opting out of the Open Register
When you register to vote, we legally have to automatically include you in the Open Register unless you tick the box on your form asking us not to do this. This will also happen if you move house and re-register, even if you weren't on the Open Register at your previous address.
If you're currently on the Open Register and would like to change this, please contact us by telephone, letter or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You don't need to give a reason for your decision, but we'll need your name, address and contact details to make the change. If you'd like to be added to the Open Register, please contact us in the same way.
Being removed from the Open Register doesn't affect your right to vote.
You can only make register changes for yourself. If anyone else in your household would like to be added to or removed from the Open Register, they must contact us separately. This is because electoral registration is an individual process and we will need their permission to make any changes.
If your safety, or the safety of someone you live with, could be put at risk if your details were to appear on the Electoral Register, you may be able to register as an anonymous elector.
This isn't the same as being removed from the Open Register. Anonymous electors are given a reference number so that their names and address don't appear on either versions of the Register. You can't register anonymously online and there is a different registration form for anonymous electors, so please contact us if you would like more information.
Viewing the Electoral Register
The Open Register is available for anyone, including individual people, to buy. The fees are set in legislation, please contact Electoral Services if you want a quotation.
The full register, monthly updates and list of overseas electors can be viewed by anyone at South Lakeland House, under supervision by a member of staff. You can take notes, but you can’t take photocopies of any of the pages.
The Electoral Register isn't available online and you can't look at previous versions of the Register at South Lakeland House. Some old registers however can be viewed at the British Library for research purposes only.
You don't need to wait to register to vote until the annual canvass, you can register at any time of the year. There is a process called rolling registration that allows us to publish an updated Register on the first working day of most months.
We will publish extra updates for any areas that have elections or by-elections throughout the year.
|Apply by||Provide any information we have asked for by||To be added to the register on|
|12 December 2022||20 December 2022||3 January 2023|
|10 January 2023||18 January 2023||1 February 2023|
|7 February 2023||15 February 2023||1 March 2023|
|10 March 2023||20 March 2023||3 April 2023|
|6 April 2023||18 April 2023||2 May 2023|
|10 May 2023||18 May 2023||1 June 2023|
|9 June 2023||19 June 2023||3 July 2023|
|10 July 2023||18 July 2023||1 August 2023|
|10 August 2023||18 August 2023||1 September 2023|
|22 November 2023||30 November 2023||1 December 2023|
Credit reference agencies
If you apply for things such as a mortgage, loan, mobile phone contract or credit card, credit reference agencies may check the electoral register to help them confirm your identity. Electoral registration isn't the only thing credit reference agencies look at, but don't wait until you need credit or finance to register to vote, they won't be able to find you on the register until we send them a monthly update or publish the register and this can take several weeks.
Voter photo identity (ID) requirements
From 4 May 2023 voters will be required to provide photo ID in order to vote in a polling station. If you don't have acceptable photo ID you can apply for a free document called a Voter Authority Certificate instead.
Registering to vote and applying for a Voter Authority Certificate are separate processes. If you need a Voter Authority Certificate you need to apply separately.