Running electoral registration - England

Renewal of overseas declarations

A renewal declaration will confirm that the details held on the electoral register are accurate and will also provide an opportunity for overseas electors to provide updated correspondence details.

You are not required to check the identity of an elector making a renewal declaration.

Once an overseas elector is registered, they are unable to make a fresh application, unless their entitlement to register as an overseas elector has expired. If a registered overseas elector makes a fresh application before their registration has expired, you should ask them to instead complete a renewal declaration.

A renewal declaration must be in writing and include:

  • the applicant’s full name
  • the applicant’s date of birth
  • a statement that the applicant is a British citizen
  • a statement that the applicant is not resident in the UK at the date of the declaration
  • a declaration of truth
  • their qualifying (registered) address
  • their current (overseas) address
  • a statement confirming that since they were registered in respect of their qualifying address, no other entry has been made in any electoral register at any address
  • a statement confirming that they are aware that it is an offence to provide false information1
  • the date of the declaration

A declaration received later than three months after it is dated must be rejected.2 The applicant should be informed and invited to submit a fresh declaration.

A renewal may also contain the applicant’s email address and telephone number, but they are not a requirement. A signature is not required.

Electors cannot use the online application service to renew their declaration.

A renewal made by letter, email or paper application form is acceptable. Renewal declaration forms are not prescribed, however they must contain all the required information. Electors are not required to provide a signature for a declaration renewal.

We produce printable renewal declaration forms which you can use. These printable renewal declaration forms are published on our website.

If you receive a written renewal declaration that is not on a renewal declaration form, you should check that it contains all the required information. If it is incomplete, you should contact the elector and request the missing information.

The renewal information can also be provided to you by the applicant over the telephone or in person. In these circumstances you must transfer the information provided to you by the applicant into a renewal declaration in writing.3

The renewal period will begin at the start of the last 6 months of an overseas elector’s existing entitlement.4

As long as a renewal declaration is made within the last 6 months of their existing declaration, an overseas elector’s entitlement can be renewed for another three years.

Existing overseas electors who make an application outside of the renewal period

If an existing overseas elector submits a new application outside of their renewal period, the application must be rejected. However, you should consider the reason why the application has been made - for example has the elector moved or changed their contact information, or do they need to change their absent vote arrangement, and contact them about what they can do to renew their registration. 

The three-year renewal cycle

Overseas electors declarations will expire on the third 1 November following the date when the person's entry on the register first takes effect.5 You will need to maintain a record showing when reminders are due to be sent.

By way of example, if a person is first included on the register on 1 March 2024, their declaration will expire on 1 November 2026. If they renewed within the last 6 months of their declaration expiring on 1 November 2026, it would next expire on 1 November 2029. If, however, they are first included on the register on 1 December 2024, their declaration would expire on 1 November 2027. If they renewed it within the last 6 months of it expiring, their entitlement would next expire on 1 November 2030. This table provides some worked examples:

First included on the registerDeclaration expires Renewal determined  Declaration expires
1 March 20241 November 20261 September 20261 November 2029
1 December 20241 November 20271 September 20271 November 2030
1 January 2025 1 November 20271 September 20271 November 2030

Any renewal declaration must be received by the ERO within 3 months of it being made for it to be valid.6

Overseas electors cannot update or change their name as part of the renewal process. They must use the separate name change process

Diweddarwyd ddiwethaf: 13 Rhagfyr 2023