Voter ID at polling stations

You'll need to show photo identification in polling stations from May 2023 onwards. 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 from May 2023. Your name on the electoral register should match the name on your ID. Expired ID will still be accepted if the photograph remains a good likeness of the voter.

Acceptable forms of ID include: 

  • UK passport 
  • passport issued by an EEA state or a Commonwealth country 
  • driving licence (including provisional licence) 
  • EEA identity card 
  • Biometric residence permit
  • PASS card 
  • older person’s bus pass 
  • disabled person’s bus pass 

Find the full list of acceptable identity documents

You do not need to bring your poll card with you to vote. Some poll cards occasionally go missing in the post, but you will still be able to vote so long as you are registered and meet the eligibility requirements for the election.

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 to be issued with a new one. Go to our Plan ahead page to find our more about postal voting. 

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

If you vote at the polling station from May 2023 onwards, 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 

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, they must be satisfied that the ID you provide is acceptable. 

If your name has changed, you’ll need to let us know so we can update the electoral register.

You can do this by:

If you name is incorrect on the electoral register for another reason, you should also let us know.

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

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

Other changes at polling stations from May 2023

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 

How we're telling people about these changes 

In January and February, we'll write to all voters who are not currently expected to vote by post.

This will be a comprehensive letter or email.

We'll tell you:

  • what the acceptable forms of ID are
  • how your name appears on the electoral register
  • how to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate
  • where your polling station is 

Poll cards will be sent out from mid March onwards. They will also have information on the acceptable forms of ID. 

Why these changes are happening

The requirement to show photograph identity documents was included 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.