About voter ID

Remember to bring ID with you to vote in May

From 4 May 2023, voters in England will need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections.

This will apply to:

  • Local elections
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections
  • UK parliamentary by-elections
  • Recall petitions

From October 2023 it will also apply to UK General elections.

If you don't have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

Visit the Electoral Commission's website to find out more about accepted forms of photo ID, how to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, and what to expect on polling day.

Commonly accepted forms of ID

You may already have a form of ID that can be accepted for this election. Some common photo ID types that you can use as your voter ID include: 

  • Passport 
  • Driving licence (including provisional license)  
  • Blue badge 
  • Specific travel cards (such as an older person’s bus pass or disabled person’s bus pass)  
  • Voter Authority Certificate

Whichever form of ID you provide, it will need to be an original and not a copy.

For more information on what can be accepted as photo ID, please visit the Electoral Commission's website.  

How to vote in person

  1. Check where your polling station is, and go to vote between 7am and 10pm on polling day.
  2. When you arrive at your polling station, a staff member will ask for your name and check that you are on the electoral register.
  3. From 4 May 2023, if you are voting in an election that requires photo ID, you will need to show photo ID to vote. They will ask to see your ID, check that it's accepted, and that it looks like you. If you are registered to vote anonymously, you will be asked to show your poll card and Anonymous Elector’s Document (AED).
  4. A private area will be available should you choose to have your photo ID viewed in private. This might be a separate room, or an area separated by a privacy screen, depending on the polling station.
  5. The staff member will cross your name off the register and give you a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for. You might be given more than one ballot paper if there is more than one election taking place in your local area on the same day.
  6. Take your ballot paper (or papers) to a polling booth, so that you can cast your vote in secret.
  7. Read the instructions on the ballot paper carefully. Some elections use different voting methods, so you need to make sure you fill in each ballot paper correctly.
  8. Complete your ballot paper using the pencil provided in the polling booth. You can also use your own pen if you want to. Don't write anything else on the paper, or your vote may not be counted.
  9. If you make a mistake, don't put your ballot paper in the ballot box. Ask the polling station staff for a replacement ballot paper, and fill it in again.
  10. Once you're done, fold your completed ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.

If your photo ID is refused

If your arrive at a polling station without an accepted form of photo ID, you will be asked to return with ID that is accepted.

Polling station staff will complete a form to record that a ballot paper couldn’t be issued, and the reason why.

The total number of voters who later return with accepted ID and are issued with a ballot paper will also be recorded. 

Face coverings

If you wear a face covering for any reason, such as a mask worn on medical grounds or a face veil worn on religious grounds, you will be asked to remove it so polling station staff can check your ID looks like you.

You can ask to have your ID checked in private. You can also request that a female member of staff checks your ID. This request will be granted if possible.

There will be a mirror available in the polling station to allow you to replace your face covering once your ID has been checked.