From May 2023 Electors will be required to show an accepted form of photographic identification in order to receive their ballot paper(s) to cast their vote in a polling station at:
- UK Parliamentary general elections
- Recall petitions
- Local elections in England
- Local referendums in England
- Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
We know that some groups are more likely to experience barriers with this change and may
need support to access photo ID.
Organisations working directly with voters, including local authorities and charities, can help voters make sure they have photo ID ahead of the elections.
Groups that have been named as likely to not have ID are listed below. The links to a number of the specific resource packs for each community have been embedded.
- Disabled people
- Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
- Older people
- People experiencing homelessness
- People who are registered to vote anonymously
- Trans and non-binary people
Accepted forms of identification are:
- a UK or Northern Ireland photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
- a driving licence issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands
- a UK passport
- a passport issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or a Commonwealth country
- a PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
- a Blue Badge
- a biometric residence permit (BRP)
- a Defence Identity Card (MOD form 90)
- a national identity card issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
- a Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card
- a Voter Authority Certificate
- an Anonymous Elector’s Document
You can also use one of the following travel passes as photo ID when you vote:
- an older person’s bus pass
- a disabled person’s bus pass
- an Oyster 60+ card
- a Freedom Pass
- a Scottish National Entitlement Card (NEC)
- a 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
- a Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
- a Northern Ireland concessionary travel pass
The photo on your ID must look like you. You can still use your ID even if it has expired.
The key messages
The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections. This new requirement will apply for the first time in England at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.
You will only need to show one form of photo ID, but it needs to be the original version and not a photocopy.
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 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.
What if I don’t have ID?
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 the free Voter Authority Certificate from www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate
You only need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if:
It’s free to apply. You’ll need:
- Date of birth
- a recent, digital photo of yourself
- your National Insurance number
- You can still apply if you do not have a National Insurance number. You’ll need to provide other documents to prove your identity, for example, a birth certificate, bank statement and utility bill.
- The deadline for applications for Voter Authority Certificates will be 5pm, 6 working days ahead of a poll.
- The election this May is Thursday 4 May
- Social Media items to share are here and it would be great if you can share our website www.bedford.gov.uk/voterid
- you do not have accepted photo ID
- you no longer look like the photo on your ID
- the name on your photo ID is different to your name on the electoral register