The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station. If a voter turns up at a polling station with no accepted photo identification, they will not be issued with a ballot paper and will need to return with an accepted form of photo identification.
From May, voters will need to show photo ID before voting in local council elections in England. From 5 October 2023, voters will need photo ID at UK parliamentary general elections.
This new requirement will apply for the first time in England at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.
Accepted forms of ID
- A 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
- A driving licence issued by the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
- A Blue Badge
- A Biometric immigration document
- An older person’s bus pass
- A Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
- Some other forms of photo ID.
More information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted can be found on the Electoral Commission website, or call the Electoral Commission helpline on 0800 328 0280.
- If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.
- People will be able to use expired photo ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
- A photocopy or an image of your ID will not be accepted.
- If the name on the ID is different to the one you registered to vote with, you can still use the photo ID but you will also need to provide further evidence of the change of name such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate, deed poll or decree absolute.
Voter ID and proxy and postal votes
Voters will not need to show photo ID in order to vote by post or proxy. Although the proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station.
For the May 2023 elections, the deadline to apply for a postal vote is 18 April and the deadline for proxy is 25 April.
What to do if you don't have any photographic ID
Anyone who doesn’t have photographic ID will be able to apply for a free piece of photo ID called a Voter Authority Certificate which can be used to prove your identity in the polling station.
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