Voter Identity (ID) requirement
Last Updated: 4 October 2023
From 4 May 2023, voters in England need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections. This will apply to:
- Local Elections
- Police and Crime Commissioner elections
- UK parliamentary by-elections
- Recall petitions
From October 2023 it will also apply to UK General elections.
If you don't have accepted photo identification, you can apply for a free voter identification document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate.
Accepted forms of photo identification
You can use any of the following accepted forms of photo identification when voting at a polling station.
- Passport issued in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, British Overseas Territory, a European Economic Area (EEA) state or a Commonwealth country
- Driving Licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or EEA state
- Blue Badge
- Older Persons Bus Pass
- Disabled Persons Bus Pass
- Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
Other government issued documents:
- Biometric immigration document
- Ministry of Defense form 90 (Defense Identity Card)
- National identity card issued by an EEA state
- Electoral Identity card issued in Northern Ireland
- Voter Authority Certificate
- Anonymous Elector's Document
You only need to provide one form of photo ID and it must be the original, not a photo copy. If your photo ID has expired you can still use it as long as the photo still looks like you. The name on the document should be the same name you used to register to vote.
For a full list of other acceptable documents please contact the elections office on the contact details below.
Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate
There are several ways to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate:
- GOV.UK online application
- download a paper application form or contact us and ask us to send a form to you by post
- in person at South Lakeland House, please contact us to make an appointment
You only need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if:
- you do not have accepted 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
It is free to apply. You will need:
- a recent, digital photo of yourself
- your national insurance number
You can still apply if you do not have a National Insurance number. You will need to provide other documents to prove your identity, for example a birth certificate, bank statement and utility bill.
Electoral Commission: Voter ID requirements provides further details including different voting options.
Anonymous Elector's Document
If you are already registered as an anonymous voter, or you register to vote anonymously, you will be invited to apply for an Anonymous Elector's Document.
You will need to provide your
- date of birth
- national insurance number
Electoral Commission: Anonymous registration provides further details.
Voting by post or proxy
You do not currently need voter ID if you have a postal vote. Applying for a Voter Identification Certificate does not cancel a postal vote. If you want to change from a postal vote to voting at a polling station, you need to contact us to cancel your postal vote.
You do not currently need voter ID if you vote by proxy. Your proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station to vote on your behalf.