Voter ID at polling stations

You need to show photo identification to vote at a polling station. Find out how to make sure you have the right ID with you before coming to the polling station.

What identification you need to bring 

If you vote at the polling station, you will need to bring photo identification (ID) with you. Your name on the electoral register should match the name on your ID. Expired ID will still be accepted if the photograph still looks like you.

Acceptable forms of ID include: 

  • UK, EEA or Commonwealth passport
  • UK or EEA driving licence (including a provisional licence)
  • Older person’s bus pass
  • Disabled person’s bus pass
  • EEA national identity card
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Identity card with the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
  • Blue Badge
  • Voter Authority Certificate
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • Freedom Pass
  • Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card

Find the full list of acceptable identity documents. 

We cannot accept:

  • University, college, school or workplace ID cards
  • Photocopies
  • Photos of documents presented on a smartphone

You do not need to bring your poll card with you to vote. 

If you vote by post 

If you vote by post, you do not need to provide ID unless you have lost or spoilt your postal vote and need us to issue you with a new one. Find out more about postal voting.

If your name on the electoral register does not match the name on your ID

To vote at the polling station your name on the electoral register should match the name on your ID.

Your name on the electoral register may differ from the name on your ID because you: 

  • have recently changed your name
  • are commonly known by another name

If you’ve recently changed your name

If you have recently changed your name, you can present your name change document alongside your photo ID to vote at the polling station.  The name change document must show a link between your name on the register and your name on your photo ID.

Acceptable name change documents could include a:

  • deed poll
  • marriage certificate
  • civil partnership certificate
  • decree absolute
  • gender recognition certificate with a date of birth matching your photo ID

You should let us know about your name change so we can update the electoral register. You can do this by:

If you have recently changed your name, but haven’t updated your ID, you may be able to: 

If you are commonly known by another name

Alternative spellings or shortened versions of names (for example, Mohammad and Muhammed, or Elizabeth and Liz) should be acceptable. This will be at the discretion of the Presiding Officer at the polling station, who must be satisfied that the ID you provide is acceptable. 

Your name on the electoral register should be your legal name as it appears on your passport. If you need to amend your name on the electoral register, you can:

If you don’t want to change your name on the electoral register, you'll be able to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate or apply for a postal vote. 

Voter Authority Certificate 

Most electors will already have one of the acceptable forms of identification. If you do not, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. You can take this to the polling station to serve as your identification for voting purposes only.  

To apply for Voter Authority Certificate, you'll need to provide all of the following:

  • a photo of yourself
  • the address where you are registered to vote
  • your National Insurance number if you have one

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

Impact of Voter ID on polling stations

Due to the introduction of Voter ID, voters can expect: 

  • more staff at polling stations to help voters
  • the voting process to take slightly longer while your ID is checked
  • a higher chance of queues during peak times 

See statistics from polling stations about Voter ID

Why you need to show photo ID at polling stations

The government included a requirement to show photograph identity documents in the Elections Act 2022. The legislation requires polling station electors to show identification at all elections in England. 

More information

Use the links below to find more information about voter ID published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Cabinet Office.