Running electoral registration - England

Can someone register to vote without a fixed address?

Can someone register to vote without a fixed address? 

A person who does not have a fixed or permanent address may register at the place where they spend most of their time, or to which they have a local connection. In some cases they will need to register by making a declaration of local connection.

More information on making and processing declarations of local connection can be found in our guidance on special category electors.

How can merchant seamen register?

Merchant seamen who are not resident in the UK but would be if not for their employment are entitled to be treated as resident at either an address at which they would normally be resident, or at a hostel or club which provides accommodation for merchant seamen and at which they would commonly stay in during the course of their occupation.1  

How can gypsy and traveller communities register?

Some members of gypsy or travelling communities may not have a permanent address, although they may settle for a period of time at sites designated by the local authority. When present at those sites for a substantive time, they may be considered to be resident there and may register as ordinary electors.

The local authority, who are responsible for maintaining any sites and ensuring appropriate education is provided for the children, may be able to assist you in assessing the situation in the local area and helping facilitate the registration of any gypsies or travellers who meet the entitlement.

Where there is no address where a particular gypsy and traveller community can be considered resident, they cannot register as ordinary electors. They may instead register by making a declaration of local connection at the place where they spend most of their time, or to where they have a local connection.2  

You should consider the presence of any gypsy or travelling communities in your area and decide on the best approach to take locally.

How can people living on narrow boats and other movable residences register? 

Any person living permanently on a boat, houseboat or similar residence which has a permanent mooring in Great Britain can be treated as being resident at that address and should be registered as an ordinary elector. 

When a person lives on a boat or other similar residence without a permanent mooring, they cannot be treated as being resident at any particular address. They will be entitled to make a registration by declaration of local connection at a place where they spend the most of their time (whether during the day or night).3 This may, for example, be a boatyard used for maintenance.

How can homeless people register?

A homeless person will not have a permanent home address and therefore will not be able to register as an ordinary elector. They may make an application to register by local connection at an address where they spend a substantial part of their time, whether during the day or night.4 It may, for example, be a bus shelter, a park bench or the doorway to a high street store.

Last updated: 14 October 2020