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

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

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 issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country (including an Irish Passport Card)
  • Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional driving licence)
  • Blue badge
  • UK Government funded travel cards (older person’s bus pass, Oyster 60+ card, disabled person’s bus pass and freedom pass)
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Anonymous Elector's Document

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.

Apply now


Alternatively, you can complete a paper application form and return it by post to:

Electoral Services
The Town Hall
Katharine Street
Croydon, CR9 1DE

If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, contact our Electoral Services Team on 0300 373 0595 or email electoral.services@croydon.gov.uk 

You can also call the Electoral Commission Helpline on 0800 328 0280.

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 a photo ID in order to apply to vote 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 show acceptable photo ID. The Elections Act 2022 has introduced changes to applying to vote by post or proxy. An elector is now required to provide their NI number in order to apply.

Find out more

You can read our full guide on Voter IDs and What You Need to Know (PDF, 219KB).

The Electoral Commission resources

The Electoral Commission website also contains a lot of downloadable resources on voter ID.  To find out more, go to electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID, or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.