Running electoral registration - Scotland

When can I require an individual to make an application to register to vote?

If you have given a third ITR and, after a reasonable period of time, you have not received a response and you have made a personal visit at least once to encourage an application, you may require an individual to submit an application to register by a specified date. This must be done on a written notice.1 1  

A personal visit is not required before a requirement to register can be issued to an individual aged under 16 years old.2

Before you can require an individual to make an application for registration you must establish that the individual:

  • has received at least one ITR3 - ideally, you should obtain confirmation from the named person, such as written confirmation of receipt or a written statement from a canvasser that they have given an invitation to the individual in person. Confirmation by email or telephone would also be acceptable and, if the telephone call is not recorded, you should make a written note of the conversation
  • has received a personal visit to encourage an application4 – an individual must already have received a personal visit as part of the ITR follow-up process
  • has been informed of how to make an application for registration5 - your ITR will already have informed the individual how they can make an application to register
  • has been informed that you may impose a civil penalty if you require them to make an application and they fail to do so6 – your ITR will already have included an explanation of the circumstances where a civil penalty may be imposed, and the amount 
  • is resident at the address at which the ITRs were given7 - you should consider if there are any local records you can check or other action that you can take to confirm that the person is resident 

A civil penalty for failing to respond to a requirement to register cannot be imposed on any individual under 16 years old8 , and the ITR makes clear that the civil penalty does not apply to such individual.

Your record-keeping and processes for issuing ITRs and carrying out personal visits should be designed to ensure that you can be satisfied that all of those requirements have been established.

Last updated: 27 May 2021