Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

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.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

Anyone who needs a Voter Authority Certificate to vote in the May 2023 elections, must apply by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.  

You will need to provide

  • a photograph: Photos must be passport style. They must be on a plain background, containing only your head/shoulders and be in colour. Your eyes must be open (unless unable to due to a disability), your face must not be covered in any way and the photo must not be filtered or manipulated in any way. You must be facing forward, looking at the camera, with a plain expression and mouth closed (unless unable due to a disability).
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number

Alternatively, you can complete a paper application form and send this to our Electoral Services team.

Application support or applying without internet access

If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request a paper application form, please contact our Electoral Services team.

Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the Meet and Greet team in the Customer Service Centre at Broadgate House who will be able to assist you.

When will I receive my Voter Authority Certificate?

Once your application has been successfully processed, the data is sent to a supplier appointed by the UK Government who will produce the document and then deliver it to you directly, first class by Royal Mail.

Your Voter Authority Certificate should be printed within one to two working days after your application has been successfully processed.

You can also request to collect your Voter Authority Certificate in person from the Council House.

I’m not registered to vote, what do I do?

You can register to vote online.

I have lost my photo ID and the deadline to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate has passed, what can I do?

If you have lost your ID and the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate has passed (5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023), then you would need to apply for an emergency proxy application – the person you appoint to vote on your behalf would need to show their ID at the polling station. Please call the elections team on 024 7683 3034 to request an emergency proxy application form.

I am not registered to vote, do I need to wait until I am registered, to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate?  

You can register to vote and apply for a Voter Authority Certificate at the same time, however you must be registered to vote before a Voter Authority Certificate will be issued to you.

I have not received my Voter Authority Certificate in the post, can I apply for another one?

If you have successfully applied for a Voter Authority Certificate but have not received it, you may request a reprint within a month of the application being made.

If it is longer than a month since you first applied, you will need to submit a new application for a Voter Authority Certificate.

If the request is very close to polling day - If you have successfully applied and have not received it, you may be able to have a temporary voter certificate, or you can apply for an emergency proxy vote (where you nominate someone to vote on your behalf). Please call the elections team on 024 7683 3034 to arrange this.

Can I use my Voter Authority Certificate as ID elsewhere?

You cannot use the Voter Authority Certificate as proof of identity for any other purpose than for voting.

How long are Voter Authority Certificates supposed to last?

The Voter Authority Certificate does not have a specified validity period, but they have a recommended renewal date of 10 years from the date of issue.

Can Voter Authority Certificates be used in any polling station?

You can use a Voter Authority Certificate at any election which requires photographic ID to be shown in the polling station, in any local authority, including in elections that are not held within the local authority area in which the Voter Authority Certificate is issued.

Electoral Services

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (excluding bank holidays)

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street
Coventry
CV1 5RR

Telephone: 024 7683 3034