Register to vote
Once you have registered to vote you will be able to cast your vote in person, by post or by proxy at election time.
Registering is required by law. You may find it difficult to get credit loans, phone contracts, a mortgage or bank account if you are not on the electoral register, as this is used by credit reference agencies.
Who can vote?
You are eligible to register if you are:
- Aged 16 or over (although you can't vote until you are 18)
- A British citizen, or
- An Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen living in the UK
If you are a student living away from home you can register at both your home and university term time address. If you split your time between two addresses (so for example if you are a student and have a home address and a term-time address), you can register to vote at both addresses, as long as they're both not in the same local authority area.
At local elections, you can vote in both places. At national elections, such as a parliamentary general election, you can only vote in one place but you can chose which place you vote in. Voting in more than one place at national elections is a criminal offence.
No fixed address
You can still register to vote if you have no fixed address. You will need something called a 'declaration of local connection' to show that you are connected to and spend time at a particular place. Contact us for more information.
Specific rules apply if you are:
- A British Citizen who has moved abroad (see more about overseas electors)
- Serving abroad in the armed forces
- A Crown servant
If you are a British citizen living outside the UK for longer than six months of the year you may be able to register as an 'overseas elector'.
How to register
Most people will already be registered to vote, but if you have recently moved house, changed your name or turned 18 you may need to update your details by registering again.
You will not automatically be registered to vote by any other contact you have with us, such as when you pay Council Tax or receive Housing Benefit.
If you move to a new house, you must re-register to vote.
You need your date of birth and your national insurance number to register to vote. You can find this on your NI card, employee payslip or correspondence from HMRC. GOV.UK can help you find your NI number if you have problems tracking it down.
Can't register online?
If you know someone who can't register to vote online, you can ask us to send a paper registration form.
We will need to know their full name and address.
Contact us at email@example.com.
You can apply for anonymous registration if your safety would be at risk from your name and address being included in the electoral register.
If you have a disability
We can provide information about registration in different formats, such as easy read, large print or a community language.
If you need help to register to vote or have a question, you can contact us during office hours.
What happens next
When we receive your application, we have to check your identity against Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and other records, so applying does not mean that you will be automatically registered.
If your details match, you will be sent a confirmation letter and be included in the register when it is next published according to the statutory timetable.
If your details do not match, we will ask you to provide photo ID documentary evidence such as a copy of your passport or driving licence, in order to verify your application. This may delay your registration, even if you applied before the monthly deadline.
Find out more about the types of evidence required.
Got a question?
Web chat available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Updated: 25 January 2023