Are you registered to vote?

Guide to registering to vote and what you’ll need to take with you when the polls do finally open

Person putting ballot paper in ballot box.

The general election expected this year will be hugely important for UNISON members and everyone working in public services.

It’s essential that public services workers use their voices. The first step towards that is to get on the electoral register.

Here’s a handy guide to registering to vote and what you’ll need to take with you when the polls do finally open.

Who can register?

You must be aged 16 or over to be on the electoral roll but won’t be able to vote until you’re 18.

You must be either a British citizen, an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK, or a Commonwealth citizen who has (or does not need) permission to enter or stay in the UK to register.

You normally only need to register once, not for every election. You’ll need to register again if you’ve changed your name, address or nationality.

Register online

Register by post

You can contact your local Electoral Registration office online.

This will give you a physical address, an email address and a phone number as contact options.

You can check to see if you’re registered and update your details if necessary. You can also request to go on the anonymous register if you don’t want your details to be publicly available.

Find your local office

Voter ID

You’ll need to show photo ID when voting in most UK elections.

You’ll need one of the following types of photo ID to vote:

  • A UK or Northern Ireland photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • A driving licence issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands
  • A UK passport
  • A passport issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or a Commonwealth country
  • A PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • A Blue Badge
  • A biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • A Defence Identity Card (MOD form 90)
  • A national identity card issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • A Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card
  • A Voter Authority Certificate
  • An Anonymous Elector’s Document
  • You can also use one of the following travel passes as photo ID when you vote:
    • An Older Person’s bus pass
    • A disabled Person’s bus pass
    • An Oyster 60+ card
    • A Freedom Pass

The photo on your ID must look like you. You can still use your ID even if it has expired.

The name on your ID must match your name on the electoral register. If it does not, you’ll need to either register to vote again with new details or take a document with you to vote that proves you’ve changed your name (for example, a marriage certificate).

Voting by post

You may need to vote by post and this could be because you have reduced mobility or other issues that affect you attending a polling station in person.

Or, you may be away from home for a particular election either through work, or because you’re on holiday.

You can apply for a postal vote for one of the following:

  • A single election on a specific date,
  • A specific period if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales,
  • Up to three years.

Apply online

Download a paper form