What information must an application to register to vote contain?

One of the criteria regarding an individual’s eligibility to register is that any statutory requirements in relation to the application are met.

An ordinary application for registration (excluding special category electors) must contain the following information:1

  • the applicant’s full name
  • the address where the applicant is resident on the date of the application and in respect of which they are applying to be registered
  • any address where the applicant has ceased to reside in the 12 months prior to the date of the application and, where that address is not in the UK, an indication of whether that person was registered as an overseas elector during this period
  • an indication of whether the applicant is resident at any other address, including any address where the applicant is currently registered and claims to be entitled to remain registered
  • the applicant’s date of birth or, if unable to provide it, the reason why they are not able to do so and a statement as to whether aged under the age of 16, 16 or 17 or aged 18 or older2
  • the applicant’s National Insurance number or, if they are not able to provide it, the reason they are not able to do so - where an applicant is under 16 years of age there is not a requirement to provide their National Insurance number3
  • the applicant’s nationality or nationalities or, if they are not able to provide this, the reason why they are not able to do so
  • an indication of whether the applicant requests their name to be omitted from the edited register - a person under 16 years old is automatically opted out of the edited register and must not be included in any version of the published register, including the edited register4
  • a declaration that the contents of the application are true (in practice, on paper, this involves a signature or at least a mark on the form that shows that they have made the declaration)
  • the date of the application

If any of the above is not provided, the application is incomplete and cannot be processed. You should follow up on the missing information with the applicant.

The application form must provide space for the applicant to provide their most recent previous name (if they have one)5 and an explanation that providing this information is not mandatory but may help in verifying their identity and if not provided, additional personal information may be required.

The register to vote website allows anyone over 14 to submit an application (excluding those applying as special category electors), however applications from 14 and 15 year olds will not be sent for verification against DWP records. Instead, their application details will be sent to the ERO to verify by checking against education records or other local data.

You may also receive a paper form from those not old enough to be an attainer.

If you receive such an application, you should contact the applicant and explain that you cannot process their application at this time, but that you will keep their details on file and invite them to register once they become eligible. Keep a record of their name, address, any other contact information, and the date on which they would become eligible for registration based on their age and put in place a mechanism to alert you to send an invitation to register at the appropriate time.

Last updated: 11 August 2021