Photographic Voter ID
From May 2023 all voters will need to show photo identification (ID) to vote in person in a polling station.
You will need to show photo ID before voting in:
- local council elections in England.
- police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales.
- any parliamentary by-elections.
From 5 October 2023, voters will need photo ID at UK parliamentary general elections.
By post or proxy
Voters will not need to show photo ID in order to apply or vote by post or vote by proxy. However, the person who is your proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station.
Accepted photo ID
The law specifies the types of documents that are accepted forms of photo ID. These have been decided by the UK Government.
Accepted forms of ID include:
- a passport issued in the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an European Economic Area (EEA) state, or a Commonwealth country
- a driving licence issued in the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
- some concessionary travel pass, such as an Older Person’s Bus Pass or an Oyster 60+ card
- people will be able to use expired photo ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
More information on the accepted types of ID is provided on the Electoral Commission website.
If you do not have an accepted form of photo ID you can apply for new form of photo ID and it's free. It is called the Voter Authority Certificate. This ID will be available for anyone who does not have any other type of accepted ID to enable them to vote.
Applying for free Voter Authority Certificate
Anyone without an accepted form of photo ID can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This will allow you to vote in person at elections.
For a free Voter Authority Certificate from the UK Government: Apply online for photo ID at GOV.UK or by completing and posting a paper form which is available on request from electoral services. Please see the details found in the contact us section to request a form.
Please note: when applying you will need to provide a recent, digital photo of yourself, your date of birth and National Insurance number as part of the application process.
Information included on the Voter Authority Certificate
The free Voter Authority Certificate ID will show:
- a voter’s full name and photograph
- the issuing local council
- an appropriate identifier (a reference including numbers and letters)
- the date of issue and a recommended renewal date
Voting at a polling station without an accepted identification
From May 2023 if you arrive at a polling station with no accepted photo identification, you will not be issued with a ballot paper. You will need to return to the polling station with an accepted form of photo identification to be able to vote.
How to vote without photo ID
If a you would prefer not to show ID at a polling station, you can apply to vote by post or vote by proxy. Photo ID isn’t required to apply or vote by post or proxy. However, the person who is your proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station.