In 2023 the UK Government introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections. This new requirement was applied for the first time in England at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.
The Electoral Commission has created a guide on the introduction of Voter ID.
Which forms of ID can I use to vote?
You may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable. These do not need to be valid or in date, but the photo must still be a good likeness of you.
You can use any of the following:
- A 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
- A driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state
- A biometric immigration document
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
- Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
- A Blue Badge
- A national identity card issued by an EEA state
- An Older Person’s Bus Pass
- A Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- An Oyster 60+ Card
- A Freedom Pass
- A Scottish National Entitlement Card issued in Scotland
- A 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- A Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- A Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A War Disablement SmartPass or War Disabled SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- An Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
- A Voter Authority Certificate or a temporary Voter Authority Certificate
The Electoral Commission has produced a British Sign Language video on what forms of photo ID can be used at a polling station. The video can be accessed by clicking below
The Electoral Commission has produced a British Sign Language video on how to apply for photo ID to vote (known as a Voter Authority Certificate).
If you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID
If you do not have a suitable form of photo ID you can also apply to vote by post or by proxy instead. You can find more information about how to apply by clicking here. How to vote - Nottingham City Council
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 a Voter Authority Certificate by clicking below.
Alternatively, you can download and complete a paper application form to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. Completed application forms can be scanned and returned via email to Electoral Services. Completed applications can also be returned by post or handed in at Loxley House.
If you are unable to complete an application, you can make an appointment with us where we can help you. We will assist you by entering your details into the online portal and taking a suitable photo of you as part of the application process for the Voter Authority Certificate. You will also need your National Insurance number at the appointment.
If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, or want to make an appointment to complete an application in person with ourselves you can contact Electoral Services.
If you want to request a paper application form, you can contact us on the above details also.
The Electoral Commission has created guides for groups who may need additional support to prepare for the new voter ID requirement. These guides can be accessed below
- Support for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
- Support for older people
- Support for people experiencing homelessness
- Support for people who are registered to vote anonymously
- Support for trans and non-binary people
- Support for blind and partially sighted people
- Easy Read Guide
FAQs on the introduction of Voter ID
No, photocopies of identification documents or pictures on mobile phones of identification documents will not be accepted as photo-editing software could be used to edit them, thus making them susceptible to fraudulent alteration.
If your photographic identification has expired it will still be accepted so long as the photograph is still of good likeness of you.
The decision on whether an identification document bearing a different name or an alternative spelling of a name from the one on the register can be accepted will be at the discretion of the polling station staff, who must be satisfied that the identification provided is acceptable.
If your name has changed, for example through marriage, you may be required to provide further proof of identity, such as a marriage certificate, providing evidence of a name change.
There will be a private area in each polling station which will allow voters wishing to have their form of identification to be viewed in private to do so. This may be achieved in a variety of ways and will depend on the room or rooms being used as polling station. For some stations, this may be achieved through the provision of privacy screens or, in others, using an existing partition or a separate room to facilitate this.
We will provide a mirror in polling stations to assist people who wear face coverings to remove them for the purposes of checking identification (and specifically to provide reassurance that they have been properly replaced following the check).
If an elector refuses to comply with the voter identification check, they will not be given a ballot paper and will not be able to vote in the polling station.
It is not a mandatory requirement for Returning Officers to provide a specific gender poll clerk in polling stations. However, you may wish to request a specific gender poll clerk to view your photographic identification and this request will be met if that specific gender poll clerk is available.
In the unfortunate event that you lose all forms of identification before the deadline for applications for a Voter Authority Certificate has passed, or if your identification is stolen, destroyed or damaged beyond use, you may apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.
If you lose your identification after the deadline for applications for Voter Authority Certificate, the ERO will have the ability to allow the appointment of an emergency proxy for that polling day.