Running electoral registration - Scotland

Restrictions on the use of the full register

Restrictions on the use of the full register

There are restrictions on the use of the information contained in the full register. 

This table demonstrates how the register may be used by different individuals or organisations.

Individual / organisation Permitted use of the register
Councillor, or employee of the council who has a copy of the full register may supply a copy of it, or disclose or make use of information contained in it for:1
  • the discharge of a statutory function of the council or any other local authority relating to security, law enforcement and crime prevention 
  • statistical purposes (without disclosing the name and address of any elector, whether that elector appears in the edited register or not)
  • a local referendum
Community councillor, or a person employed or otherwise assisting a parish who has a copy of the full register may supply a copy of it, or disclose or make use of information contained in it for:2
  • the purpose of establishing whether a person is entitled to attend or participate in a meeting of the community council
  • for electoral purposes in relation to that council
Elected representatives are also entitled to be supplied with the electoral register:3
  • for electoral purposes, for the area that they represent
Government departments are restricted in the way that they may use the register. They may not supply or sell a copy unless the recipient could obtain a free copy under the regulations.
Government departments may only use the register for:4
  • the administration of justice, the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the criminal law (whether in Scotland or elsewhere)
  • the vetting of employees and applicants for employment where such vetting is required pursuant to any enactment
  • the vetting of any person where such vetting is for the purpose of safeguarding national security, or
  • supply and disclosure as defined by the regulations
Credit reference agencies must only use the register for:5
  • vetting applications for credit or applications that can result in the giving of credit or the giving of any guarantee, indemnity or assurance in relation to the giving of credit
  • meeting any obligations contained in the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 or any rules made pursuant to Section 137A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, and
  • statistical analysis of credit risk assessment in a case where no person whose details are included in the full register is referred to by name or necessary implication

Beyond the limited circumstances set out in access and supply of data relating to those under 16 years of age, no information on those aged under 16 must be included on any version of the register published or otherwise made available.


Last updated: 27 May 2021