You must be on the electoral register (also known as the electoral roll) to be able to vote at an election.
Individual electoral registration requires each person to be responsible for their own registration.
You can also apply to register to vote using an easy read form.
If you need a paper form, please contact us. Our contact details are at the bottom of this page.
Please note: When an election is due, the deadline to apply to register is 12 working days before polling day.
Once you are registered there are different ways to vote.
Who can register?
Details of who can and who can't register to vote are on the Electoral Commission website.
We publish the electoral register every year (usually in December) in two versions:
We also update the register on the first working day each month and before an election.
You may be able to register anonymously if you are concerned about your safety. If you do not want your details to appear on the register, please contact us.
To register to vote in elections, you must give your details to the Electoral Registration Officer.
If you register anonymously, your name and address will not appear on the electoral register. We will keep your personal details confidential.
If you apply to register anonymously, you will need to:
- Explain why your safety would be at risk if the details appeared on the electoral register
- Provide a court document or an attestation from an authorised person to support your application
From 4 May 2023, anonymous electors voting in person at their polling station will need to present their Anonymous Elector’s Document (AED) and their anonymous poll card.
You cannot register anonymously online. For advice or an application form, please contact us. Our contact details are at the bottom of this page.
A member of HM Forces can now choose whether to register as a service voter or as a civilian (ordinary elector).
More voting information for service personnel.
If you are a British citizen living or working overseas, you can register to vote at certain elections in the United Kingdom.
You can still register to vote even if you do not have a fixed address.
If you have no permanent address, you can register where you spend most of your time or have some connection. This could be your previous permanent address, a shelter or similar place.
To register, you need to fill in a form called a Declaration of local connection or ITR for person with no fixed address.
More information is available at the Electoral Commission website.
The Electoral Register and Council Tax
The council tax register and the electoral register are two separate registers. They are completely different and operate under different laws or regulations.
The council tax register may show the names of the owners and not necessarily the residents of the properties.
The electoral registration officer is not permitted to take names from the council tax register and put them on the electoral register and vice versa.
The electoral register is also used for other limited legally specified activities, such as:
- detecting crime (like fraud)
- calling people for jury service
- checking credit applications
Did you know?
- You are not automatically registered to vote, even if you pay council tax or if you have registered to use other council services. If you're not registered, you cannot vote.
- Being on the electoral register is required for getting a mortgage and other financial credit.
- It also improves your access to welfare benefits and gives you choices - for example, being on the electoral register will help if you apply for a mobile phone contract.
- You only have to re-register when you change your name and/or address.
- Your name can take up to six weeks to show on the register of electors depending on when you register to vote.
- The main credit reference agencies receive a copy of all monthly updates and the full revised register so they can update their records.