From 4 May 2023 onwards, the Elections Act 2022 requires voters to show photographic identification at polling stations before they are given a ballot paper.
If you don't already have any of the accepted forms of photographic identification (listed below), you will be able to apply either in person, by post or online, for a Voter Authority Certificate - a free photographic identification document specific for the purposes of voting - and in good time ahead of voter identification first being required in polling stations.
Acceptable forms of photographic identification include:
- A 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
- A driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state
- A biometric immigration document
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
- Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
- A Blue Badge
- A national identity card issued by an EEA state
- An Older Person's Bus Pass
- A Disabled Person's Bus Pass
- An Oyster 60+ Card
- A Freedom Pass
- A Scottish National Entitlement Card issued in Scotland
- A 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- A Disabled Person's Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- A Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person's SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A War Disablement SmartPass or War Disabled SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- An Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
- A Voter Authority Certificate or a temporary Voter Authority Certificate
If your photographic identification document has expired it will still be accepted as long as the photograph is still a good likeness of you - this will be at the discretion of the Presiding Officer working at your Polling Station.
If you do not have any of the ID mentioned above you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online. Apply for photo ID to vote (called a 'Voter Authority Certificate') - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
You can also apply using a paper application, which is available here - Paper Application - Voter Authority Certificate
More information about Voter ID is available at the Electoral Commission website here - The Electoral Commission, Voter ID Page.
If your photo ID is lost stolen, destroyed or damaged, and the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate has passed. You can apply for an emergency proxy using this form - Apply for an Emergency Proxy based on photo ID. This form can also be used if your Anonymous Elector's Document is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged.
Postal and Proxy Voters
Voters will not need to show photo ID in order to apply by post or proxy. Although the proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station.