Register to vote

Last Updated: 27 August 2021

Register to vote

If you're unable to register online, please call the Electoral Services office. We can send you a paper form or take your registration over the telephone.

To register to vote, you'll need your name, date of birth, address and a few other details, including your National Insurance number.

If you don't know your National Insurance number, you can find it on your National Insurance card or in official paperwork such as pay slips, pension statements and letters about tax credits or other benefits.

If you can't give your National Insurance number, you'll be asked to say why and we may need to ask you for more information so that we can check your identity.

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.

Who can register to vote

You can join the Register of Electors if you:

Eligibility to register to vote for EU citizens

The transition period ended on 31 December 2020 and the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU. EU citizens are still eligible to vote in local elections. We will update this page if and when this arrangement changes. 

Second homes and holiday homes

You must register at the address where you spend most of your time.

If you own a property and use it mainly for holidays or have long periods where you don't stay at the address, you shouldn't register to vote there, even if you pay council tax for the property.

Overseas voters

If you're a UK citizen living abroad, you may be able to register as an overseas voter.

The voting method for all electors, including overseas voters, is automatically set to voting in person. If you register as an overseas elector you may also wish to:

We recommend that overseas electors consider voting by proxy because it can take time for postal ballot packs to reach other countries and be returned to the Returning Officer in time to be counted, which is 10pm on polling day. However you are welcome to apply for a postal vote instead.


If you're a student and your term-time address is outside the South Lakeland area, you may be able to register to vote at both your home and term-time address. You can only vote once in each election or referendum.

Anonymous voters

If your safety, or the safety of someone you live with, could be put at risk if you appear on the electoral register, you may be able to register to vote anonymously.

Please contact Electoral Services for more information. You can't register anonymously online, there's a different registration form for anonymous electors.

People with no fixed address

Even if you don't have a permanent address, you may be able to register to vote. There are different ways to register, depending on your circumstances, so please contact Electoral Services if you would like further information about this.

When your name will be added to the register of electors

Applying to register doesn't automatically add you to the Electoral Register. We have to check your details first. We'll then write to you to either confirm when you will be added to the register, or to ask for more information.

You can apply to register to vote at any time, but the date you appear on the Register will depend on when you applied.

The register is created each year during the annual canvass, which usually starts in July and ends in November. We usually publish the new register each year on 1 December and it usually remains in force until 30 November the following year. However the publication date this year was moved from 1 December 2020 to 1 February 2021. This allowed us more time to complete the annual canvass whilst COVID-19 restrictions were in place. This Register will remain in force until 30 November 2021.

We can't update the Register in October or November because of the annual canvass. If you apply after the deadline for the 1 September 2021 update, which is 10 August 2021, you won't be added to the Register until 1 December 2021.

We will publish extra updates for any areas that have elections or by-elections throughout the year. 

Dates when the full Register or updates will be published

 Apply by Provide any information we have asked for by  To be added to the register on
Thursday 21 January 2021 Friday 29 January 2021 Monday 1 February 2020
Friday 5 February 2021 Monday 15 February 2021 Monday 1 March 2021
Wednesday 10 March 2021 Thursday 18 March 2021 Thursday 1 April 2021
Friday 26 March 2021 Wednesday 7 April 2021 Thursday 8 April 2021 (first register for the local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections on Thursday 6 May 2021)
Monday 12 April 2021 Tuesday 20 April 2021 Wednesday 21 April (second register for the local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections due on Thursday 6 May 2021)
Monday 19 April 2021 Tuesday 28 April 2021 Wednesday 29 April 2021 (third and final register for the local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections on Thursday 6 May 2021) 
Monday 10 May 2021 Tuesday 18 May 2021 Tuesday 1 June 2021
Wednesday 9 June 2021 Thursday 17 June 2021 Thursday 1 July 2021
Friday 9 July 2021  Monday 19 July 2021  Monday 2 August 2021
Tuesday 10 August 2021 Wednesday 18 August 2021 Wednesday 1 September 2021
Monday 22 November 2021 Tuesday 30 November 2021 Wednesday 1 December 2021

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 full Register, and this can take several weeks.