How to vote

What to do at the polling station, how to vote by proxy or by post and how to find a polling station.

Apply to vote by post

Deadline for postal vote applications

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm, 11 working days prior to an election or referendum. 

New rules regarding the absent vote application process came into effect on 31 October 2023. We must now verify your identity when applying to vote by post; this requires you to provide your national insurance number. 

If you do not have a National Insurance number, you will need to explain why.  You can then upload alternative documents that will help us verify your application. 

How to apply

You can make an application to vote by post using the secure Government portal.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address including post code
  • National insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • Handwritten signature

How to upload a signature photo

You will need to upload a picture of your signature; the website will advise you on how to provide and upload this.  

Your signature must be:

  • in focus
  • without shadows
  • without anything showing in the background
  • the right way up

If you are unable to provide a distinctive signature due to a disability, or if you are unable to read or write, the electoral registration officer may grant you a waiver.

Please contact us for more information at, or call 0300 373 0595. 

Apply now

Apply with a paper application

If you are unable to apply online, you can download an application form. The paper application requires the same information, and you will still need to provide your national insurance number on the paper application.

The completed form can be scanned and emailed to

You can also return it to us by hand or by post to:

Electoral Registration Officer, 
Town Hall,  
Katharine Street,  
Croydon CR9 1DE

If you do not have a printer you can contact Electoral Services so we can send you a paper application; email or call 0300 373 0595.

Postal votes at an election period

You will not be able to vote in person at the polling station once your arrangement to vote by post is in place.

We send out ballot papers to reach voters the week before polling day. They are sent via first class post with a special first class reply envelope to return them. The Royal Mail treats postal votes as a priority.

The ballot pack includes instructions on how to return the ballot papers.  You’ll need to complete a postal voting statement, enclosed within the pack, with your signature and date of birth.  We compare this to your original application to make sure that the person voting is the same as the person who applied for the postal vote.  The vote cannot be counted if they do not match.

You must return the postal voting statement and your ballot paper(s) before the close of polling on the day of an election.  If your postal vote arrives after the close of the poll, it will not be counted.

Renewing your postal vote

The law has changed for how long you can have a permanent postal vote for. The maximum time you can have a postal vote is for 3 years; if you have a permanent postal vote, we will write to you when it is time for you to reapply.

Related links

Search our interactive map of wards

Find a polling station