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Voter ID rules in England

Due to changes that were introduced in October 2023, you'll need to bring photo ID to the polling station to be able to vote in elections in England – including the next general election on 4 July.

What are the voter ID rules?

You now have to bring a form of photo ID with you when you go to vote at a polling station in England. This applies to local elections, Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Parliamentary by-elections, recall petitions and general elections.

What ID can I use to vote?

The list of accepted forms of ID includes:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Blue Badge
  • Older person’s bus pass
  • Disabled person’s bus pass

See the full list of valid forms of ID on the Electoral Commission website

Does my ID have to be in date to vote?

You can still use ID that's out of date, but the photo needs to still look like you and have the same name on it that you used to register to vote.

What if I don't have any of these forms of ID?

If you don't have any of the accepted forms of photo ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate instead. You'll need to bring this with you to your polling station to be able to vote.

A Voter Authority Certificate is free and provided by your local council. Don't give money to anyone requesting payment for a Voter Authority Certificate, as this may be a scam.

How do I apply for a Voter Authority Certificate?

If you're already registered to vote, you can apply:

Your local council will process your application and you'll get your Voter Authority Certificate in the post.

You'll need to provide your:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • a photo of yourself.

If you don't know your National Insurance number, there are other documents you can use to prove your identity, such as your birth certificate.

If you already have a Voter Authority Certificate from last year, you can use it again this general election.

Don't miss the deadline to apply for your Voter Authority Certificate

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate for the general election is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June.

If you're not registered to vote you need to do this first. The deadline for registering to vote in the general election is midnight on Tuesday 18 June 2024.

Register to vote on GOV.UK

Where can I get help with voter ID documents?

You can contact your local council for help applying. If you need to apply by post but can't print off the paper application yourself, you can ask your local council to send you a copy of the application form.

Information on the photo ID requirements can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website and you can also access support for Voter Authority Certificates through their helpline by calling 0800 328 0280.

Find out more about photo ID requirements on the Electoral Commission website

Find your local council

You just need your postcode to get started.

I won’t be able to go to vote in person, can I still vote?

If you can't vote in person, you can also vote by post or by proxy.

To vote by post

To vote by post this general election, you'll need to apply by 5pm on Wednesday 19 June. Once you've applied, you’ll be sent a ballot paper that you can then post back. Post your ballot back as quickly as possible to make sure it’s counted. If you’re too late to post your ballot paper, you can take it to your local polling station by 10 pm on election day, or your local Electoral Registration Office before they close.

There are two ways to apply:

To vote by proxy

To vote by proxy this general election, you'll need to apply by 5pm on Wednesday 26 June. Once you've applied and nominated someone who is registered to vote, they can vote for you. They'll have to go to the polling station written on your polling card to vote for you – this might be a different polling station to where they vote. They'll need to show their own ID but do not need ID for you.

There are two ways to apply:

Do I need ID to vote by post or proxy?

You don't need photo ID or a Voter Authority Certificate to vote by post or get someone to vote in proxy for you.

Do the voter ID rules apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland too?

This information only relates to voting rules in England. You can find information about photo ID in elections in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on the government website.

Find out more about voter ID in the UK on GOV.UK

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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: May 28 2024

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