Online applications

The online registration form is hosted on the central government website, you should provide a link to this from your website and include it in all of your communications and public awareness activity.

If you have an email address for an individual you could use it to encourage them to submit an online application. You can also issue an invitation to register by electronic means, including by email.

Information from applications to register that are completed online will be sent to your EMS system automatically from the IER Digital Service.

Online registration provides a range of opportunities to integrate registering into other services the council provides and to deliver electoral registration more efficiently.

Promoting online or other channels may make it simpler and potentially cheaper for you to process applications. There are many benefits for individuals in completing an application online including:

  • improved accessibility for individuals with particular communication needs  who may be able to complete the application more easily online, for example those with visual impairments who use electronic screen readers 
  • providing assurance that the application they have made is complete as the online system will not allow any incomplete applications to be submitted, for example  any applications with obvious inadvertent errors, such as their date of birth being missed or given in the wrong format
  • providing assurance that the application is received the moment it is submitted, which is particularly beneficial close to a registration deadline ahead of an election

There are also benefits for you including:

  • reduced need for manual data input
  • fewer errors due to the validation of information entered on the online form
  • no need to decipher handwriting
  • applications will be complete when received, reducing the need to follow-up any missing information
  • verification will be undertaken immediately rather than once you enter the data into your EMS system
  • not having to receive, open, scan and store a paper form

14 and 15 year olds can apply to register through the register to vote website (excluding those applying as special category electors) but these applications will not be sent for verification against DWP records. Instead, their application details will be sent to you to verify by checking against education records or other local data. For further information see verifying the identity of applicants.

Your own website and social media accounts are also key tools for communicating messages about registration and encouraging applications. You should regularly review and update any general advice or information contained on your website relating to electoral registration so that people have accurate and up-to-date information about how to register.

Last updated: 27 May 2021