By Ann Higgins
What is it?
Despite strenuous opposition both inside and outside Parliament, as part of the Elections Act 2022 the government introduced a requirement that anyone voting in person in a UK election would have to show photo ID to the staff at the polling station.
When is it?
The first elections to which it will apply are the English local elections on 4 May 2023, and any general election held from October 2023 onwards. To vote in the local elections in May, you need to register to vote by 11.59 pm on Monday 17 April 2023.
You can register to vote here.
What form of ID do I need to vote in person?
The forms of ID which are acceptable are as follows:
- Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
Driving and Parking
- Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
- A Blue Badge
- Older Person’s Bus Pass
- Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- Oyster 60+ Card
- Freedom Pass
- Scottish National Entitlement Card
- 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
- Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
- Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
Proof of age
- Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
Other government issued documents
- Biometric immigration document
- Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence 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 will only need to show one form of photo ID. It needs to be the original version and not a photocopy.
Out of date photo ID
You can still use your photo ID if it’s out of date, as long as it looks like you.
The name on your ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.
What if you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID?
You can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if:
- you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID;
- you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you;
- you’re worried about using an existing form of ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker.
You need to register to vote before applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or before trying to cast your vote.
How to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate
You can apply on line on gov.uk
You can also apply by post by filling out a paper application form and sending this to your local council.
You can request the instructions in large print, braille or easy read.
You may also be able to apply in person at your local council. If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request an application form, contact your local council. You can also call The Electoral Commission helpline on 0800 328 0280 if you have any questions.
So far, Voter ID is not required for postal voting.
You can apply for a postal vote here.
Even if you take your postal vote down to the polling station and hand it in there on polling day, no Voter ID is required.