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Voter ID

Bring your ID to vote from May 2023

Please note: Voter ID will be required for all elections and referendums.

The Elections Act 2022 introduced new rules for voters at elections from May 2023.

The new rules apply at elections for the UK Parliament, Police and Crime Commissioner, local councils and referendums. 

Voters at polling stations must show photo identification (ID) before they can vote. This also applies to a proxy voting on someone‚Äôs behalf.  People voting by post do not need to provide ID.

Voter ID is designed to prevent personation, the crime of pretending to be someone else when you vote. The Government acknowledges levels of fraud are low but argues that every ballot matters. They say that voter ID will protect voters from having their vote stolen.

The Electoral Commission ran a public awareness campaign on television, radio and online in early 2023. This was to help voters be ready for this change. 

More information is available on the Electoral Commission website or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

Photo ID you can use

The Electoral Commission has published a list of accepted forms of photo ID. Please check the list carefully to see if your document is acceptable before using it as photo ID. A young person's bus pass is not considered accepted photo ID.

Only original documents will be accepted and the name on the document must match that on the electoral register. Scanned images or copies will not be accepted. Expired documents will be accepted if the photo is still a current likeness.

Voters who do not produce a Voter Authority Certificate or valid photo ID will not be allowed to vote on polling day.

No suitable photo ID?

A free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) is available for anyone who does not have any other photo ID. 

Apply online for a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC)

We have easy read instructions on how to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC).

If you wish, you can print a paper application form from the Government website.

Alternatively, we can send you a paper copy of the application form in the post. If you want a form, please contact us on or 0300 123 1115.

Please go to the Electoral Commission website if you need an application form in a different language.

Please note - if you are applying online you must upload a digital photo of yourself. Please do not take a photo of a photograph. Take a photo of yourself against a plain background, facing forward with your eyes open.

Anonymous electors

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

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

More information

For more information, please go to the Electoral Commission website or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280. 

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