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Voter ID and how to apply for the Voter ID Certificate

When you vote in person at elections in England, you need to show an accepted form of identification (ID). ID is a document that proves who you are. This My Vote My Voice accessible easy read webpage will show you what ID you can take to vote.

If you do not have any of the ID on the list, you can read how to apply for the free Voter Authority Certificate. The Voter Authority Certificate is a form of ID you can use to prove who you are when you go to vote.

There are some types of ID that you might already have that you can use when you go to vote.

What types of ID are accepted?

These are the types of ID that you might already have, which you can use to prove who you are when you vote in person.

You should know if you have any of these, if you are unsure talk to someone you trust who will know.

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Provisional driving licence
  • Blue badge
  • Identity card with Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) mark
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Defence Identity Card
  • National Identity Card

They also accept these types of travel passes:

  • Older Person’s Bus Pass
  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • Freedom Pass
  • National Entitlement Card
  • Senior SmartPass
  • Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass
  • War Disablement SmartPass or War Disabled SmartPass
  • 60+ SmartPass
  • Half Fare SmartPass

You will only need to show one type of ID, but it needs to be the original document and not a photocopy or photo of it.

If you have one of these types of accepted ID but it is out of date you can still use it when you go to vote in person, but only if the photo on it still looks like you.

If you do not have one of these types of accepted ID, or if you don’t know if the photo still looks like you, you can apply for the free Voter Authority Certificate.

You need to be registered to vote before you can apply for one of these. If you aren’t registered to vote visit our register to vote webpage and follow our guides to find out how to register to vote.

How to apply for your Voter Authority Certificate

You can apply online for your free Voter Authority Certificate. Click here to go to the webpage where you can apply.

You can apply by post by completing a paper form and sending it to your local electoral service. Click here to find details about your local electoral service.

What information you will need to apply for your Voter Authority Certificate

When you apply for your Voter Authority Certificate you will need to provide your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • National Insurance number; you can find your national insurance number on your payslip or from letters from the Government, such as letters about benefits, tax or pensions.

Sending a photo

You will also need to send a passport style photograph with your application. This needs to be a clear photo of your head and shoulders while you are facing forward and not smiling.

Your face should not be covered and you should not wear any head covering, unless it is for religious beliefs or medical reasons.

The photograph of you must:

  • look like you
  • be in colour
  • be taken against a plain, light background
  • be clear and not blurry
  • not have shadows, red eye or reflections
  • not be damaged.

You can get help to take this photo of yourself. Some photo development shops offer a service where you can pay for them to take it for you.

If you have questions or need help

The Electoral Commission has made some guides to give you more information about the Voter Authority Certificate. Visit the Electoral Commission Voter ID web pages to download them and find out more.

Or you can call the Electoral Commission on 0800 328 0280

There’s also this useful video from People in Action:

Next: How to register for postal voting