Voter ID required for voting at elections

The Elections Act 2022 introduced the requirement for voters in Great Britain to show photo identification in order to vote in polling stations at elections.

Voter ID

There are many forms of existing photo identification which will be accepted, details of these are listed below. However, because some voters will not have one of these existing accepted forms of identification, voters can apply for a new form of photo identification which can be used for the sole purpose of voting in person, known as a Voter Authority Certificate

This new requirement will apply for the first time in England at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.

A voter without an accepted form of photo ID will not be able to vote. If the voter is able to returns to the polling station before the close of poll with accepted photo ID they will still be able to vote.

Elections with a requirement to show photo ID

From May, voters will need to show photo ID before voting in local council elections in England, police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales, and in any parliamentary by-elections. From 5 October 2023, voters will also need photo ID at UK parliamentary general elections. 

Please note, there are currently no scheduled elections in Croydon in 2023. 

Which forms of ID can you use to vote

You may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable. You can use any of the following:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence (including provisional license)
  • Blue badge
  • Certain concessionary travel cards
  • Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • Biometric Immigration document
  • Defence identity card
  • Certain national identity cards

Take your ID with you when you go to vote, you will not be able to vote if you do not have acceptable photo ID.

Voters only need to show one form of photo ID to vote, but it must be the original version and not a photocopy. 

People will be able to use an expired photo ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

For more information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted, visit electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

Voter Authority Certificate

You need to be registered to vote before you apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. When you register to vote, you’ll be asked whether you have photo ID or if you want to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

You do not need to apply for new voter ID if you already have an acceptable form of Photo ID

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

You can apply for this at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk.

Apply now

Alternatively, you can complete a paper application form and send this to Electoral Services. 

If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request an application form, contact our Electoral Services Team on 0300  373 595 / electoral.services@croydon.gov.uk 

Information needed

When applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, you will need to provide your: 

  • Name
  • Date of birth 
  • Address
  • National Insurance number 
  • a recent photograph 

If you don’t know your National Insurance number, or don’t have one, you can still apply. The Electoral Services Team will contact you to request alternative proof of your identity. 

The requirements for the photograph are similar to the requirements for a passport photo. Details of these requirements can be found on Voter Authority website when you apply or with the paper application form.

What information is included on the Voter Authority Certificate

The free ID will show

  • a voter’s full name
  • voters photograph
  • the issuing local council
  • an appropriate identifier (reference including numbers and letters allocated by the council)
  • the date of issue and a recommended renewal date. 

Voting by post or by proxy

Voters will not need to show photo ID in order to apply by post or proxy, however, the proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station.

Voters who vote by post do not need to acceptable photo ID. The Elections Act 2022 will introduce changes to the application process for postal voting later in 2023, and more information will appear here in due course.  

Find out more

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, go to electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID, or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.