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Voter ID - Bring photo ID to vote

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Voters are now required to show a form of photographic identification at polling stations before they are able to cast their vote.

Watch a short explainer video:

Types of photographic identification

A full list of accepted forms of ID will be included on your poll card.

Your poll card will arrive shortly before any forthcoming elections in your area and will be in an envelope addressed to you. 

You will likely already have one of the following:

  • a UK or Northern Ireland photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • a driving licence issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands
  • a UK passport
  • a passport issued by an EU country, 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

You must bring the original document.  We cannot accept scanned images, copies, or photos of your ID shown on your smartphone.  

Out of date identification will be accepted if the photo is still a current likeness.

When you show us your ID at the polling station we will check your likeness with the photo before giving you your ballot paper and directing you to the voting booth.  We do not copy your ID, or keep it, and the details are not recorded.

You can view a full list of accepted ID on the GOV.UK website.

What to do if you do not have any photo ID

If you do not have any of the accepted types of photo identification and you want to vote at the polling station, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate on the gov.uk website.

You must be registered to vote to use this service. 

This will be an A4 photographic identification document specifically designed to allow you to cast your vote. 

Paper application forms are available to download and print below and should be returned by email to

electoralservices@nfdc.gov.uk 

or by post to

Electoral Services
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
Lyndhurst
SO43 7PA

Voter Authority Certificate Application Form (PDF) [718KB]

Voter Authority Certificate Application Form - Large print (PDF) [147KB]

Alternatively forms can be collected from one of our information offices.

If you need help with this process please call 023 8028 5445.

Voter Authority Certificates do not have an expiration date. But it's recommended that you renew your certificate after 10 years.

Voting by post or by proxy

You will not need ID to vote by post, you will be issued with a postal ballot as usual. 

If you choose to nominate a proxy to vote on your behalf they will need to have their own ID to be issued with a ballot paper. They will not need your photographic ID. 

If you've changed your name

The name on your ID must match your name on the electoral register. If it does not, you'll need to either:

  • register to vote again with your new details
  • take a document with you to vote that proves you've changed your name (for example, a marriage certificate)

Small differences do not matter. For example, if your ID says 'Jim Smith' instead of 'James Smith'.

Guidance in other formats

Resources have been produced by the Electoral Commission to support electors with visual impairments or users of British Sign Language (BSL), to understand the new requirements. 

More information

You can find out more about the Elections Act 2022 on the GOV.UK website.

Voter ID Statistics

You can view statistical data about Voter ID gathered at the New Forest local and town/parish elections in May 2023.

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