Published Monday, 16th January 2023
For the first time, you will need to show photographic ID to vote at a polling station in this year’s local elections.
Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID.
Accepted forms of ID include
- a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport
- a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers’ licence
- some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card.
Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more informatio5n about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID, at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.
How to apply for free photo ID
Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online at www.voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk or by completing a paper form.
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, said: “Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.”
Mari Roberts-Wood, Returning Officer at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “With local elections taking place in Reigate & Banstead on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote at a polling station make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.
“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to our Electoral Services team. If you want to request an application form or need help with applying for the free ID, please contact us on 01737 276794.”
Are you registered to vote?
Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Voters wishing to apply to the Council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.
The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May.