Running electoral registration - England

Producing permanent Voter Authority Certificates

Once you have approved an application you must issue a Voter Authority Certificate to the applicant.1 The data is sent from the EROP to the centrally procured supplier appointed by DLUHC who will ensure Voter Authority Certificates are produced to the relevant specification and will ensure that all security features are included. 

The Voter Authority Certificate must include:2  

  • the applicant’s full name
  • the applicant’s photograph 
  • the date of issue
  • the appropriate identifier
  • the words 'issued by the Electoral Registration Officer appointed by [insert the name of the Local Authority]'
  • the recommended renewal date 
  • one or more security features recommended by the Home Secretary

The appropriate identifier is made up of 20 numbers or letters which you allocate to each Voter Authority Certificate.3 This will be generated by the EROP.

The recommended renewal date for a Voter Authority Certificate is the date which is the tenth anniversary of the date it was issued.

More information about how this process works will be provided in the EROP guidance to be provided by DLUHC.

DLUHC expect that Voter Authority Certificates will be printed within a service level agreement of 1-2 working days of each applicant’s details being sent to the supplier, and then delivered directly to the applicant first class by Royal Mail. 

You may issue a temporary Voter Authority Certificate if you have determined an application for a permanent VAC after the application deadline (i.e., after 5pm, 6 working days before polling day at an election or the last signing date for a petition) but before polling day for an election or the last day for signing at a petition and you do not think the VAC will arrive in time. For more information see our guidance  issuing temporary Voter Authority Certificates.

Last updated: 17 November 2022