Register to vote
Last Updated: 6 September 2023
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.
If you change your address you will need to re-register to vote. 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:
- live in the area on a permanent basis, which is more than six months of the year
- are a British, Irish, European Union (EU) or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
- are aged 16 or older, but you can't vote until you reach 18
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
When your name will be added to the register
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.
We will publish extra updates for any areas that have elections or by-elections throughout the year.