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May 2023 - Elections

Voter ID and elections 2023 - frequently asked questions

What forms of ID are acceptable as Voter ID?

You can use any of the following accepted forms of photo ID when voting at a polling station.

  • 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 licence (issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state)
  • 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
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • 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

Can I use out of date ID?

You can still use your photo ID if it's out of date, as long as it looks like you.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.

Can I use a photocopy of my ID, or a photo of my ID on my phone?

No - you must bring the original ID with you to vote at the polling station. We cannot accept copies, or photographs of ID.

What if I haven't got an acceptable form of 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. An easy-read guide to applying for a voter authority certificate is also available online.

What is the deadline to apply for a free voter ID for the elections in May?

If you need to apply for a voter ID, you need to make the application by 5.00pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.

What if a voter is transgender or non-binary and hasn't got ID with the correct name or photo?

You can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. For this document, you provide an up to date photograph.

Your name on the electoral register can be updated by providing evidence of a name change - such as a deed poll. To do this, you should email

My photo ID is in an old name - what do I do?

Your ID in your former name is still acceptable (as long as it still looks like you)  but you'll need to bring evidence of your name change  (e.g. marriage certificate or deed poll) to the polling station as well.

If you've changed name recently, you should update your name on the electoral register by emailing us evidence of your name change.

I'm registered to vote anonymously - how does voter ID work for me?

If you're registered to vote anonymously and want to vote in person, you'll need to apply for an Anonymous Electors Document.

Find out more about registering to vote anonymously and how to vote anonymously.

What if I can't get online or need support with my application?

If you can't get online and want to request a paper application form, please contact us.

If you need assistance to apply, you can make an appointment to get help at the Council House - by calling 01827 715341

I'm a postal voter - do I need ID now?

No - postal voters won't need to show or provide ID at these elections. If you want to apply to vote by post, download a form.

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

If you're not registered, you can register to vote online. if you also need to apply for a voter ID, register first and then make a voter ID application. You can do these at the same time, as long as you register to vote first. 

How can I check if I'm registered to vote?

If you receive a poll card for the elections on 4 May 2023, then you are registered to vote. If you haven't had a poll card, or aren't sure if you are registered (especially if you have changed address recently) then you can email us (including your current address) or call 01827715341.

I have lost my photo ID and the deadline to apply for a voter ID has now passed. What do I do?

If you have lost your ID and it is after 25 April 2023, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote. In order to do this, you should email us or phone 01827 715341 and we will discuss this option with you and get the correct forms to you.

When will my voter ID expire? Do I need to re-apply if I change address?

The free voter ID (also known as a voter authority certificate) doesn't have an expiry date - but we expect them to last roughly 10 years, as you will need to continue to look like the photograph. You don't need to re-apply for a voter ID if you change address - you can still use the ID you have. You will just need to register to vote if you have changed address.

Last updated Tuesday, 7th March 2023

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