Running electoral registration - Scotland

Does the attestor meet the requirements to be a qualifying attestor?

For address attestations, qualifying attestors must:1

  • be aged 18 or over2
  • confirm they are not the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the applicant3
  • be registered as an elector4
  • not have already signed address attestations for two other applicants since either the last publication of the revised register or when the attestor was first added to the register, whichever is the most recent5  

Where an attestor is a domestic elector they must be:

  • a person of good standing in the community6

You should advise the applicant that an attestor is not permitted to charge for providing an attestation.

Good standing

There is no precise definition of good standing; however, for the purposes of an attestation, you should consider it to mean someone who has credentials that can be checked and would suffer professional or reputational damage if they were to provide a false attestation. The list in the table below is not definitive but is intended to illustrate which professions could be described as of good standing:

Examples of professions which could be described as of good standing
  • accountant
  • airline pilot
  • articled clerk of a limited company
  • assurance agent of recognised company
  • bank/building society official
  • barrister
  • chairman/director of limited company
  • chiropodist
  • commissioner of oaths
  • civil servant (permanent)
  • dentist
  • director/manager of a VAT-registered charity
  • director/manager/personnel officer of a VAT-registered company
  • engineer (with professional qualifications)
  • financial services intermediary (e.g. a stockbroker or insurance broker)
  • fire service official
  • funeral director
  • insurance agent (full time) of a recognised company
  • journalist
  • Justice of the Peace
  • legal secretary (fellow or associate member of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs)
  • licensee of public house
  • local government officer
  • manager/personnel officer (of a limited company)
  • medical professional member, associate or fellow of a professional body
  • Merchant Navy officer
  • minister of a recognised religion (including Christian Science)
  • nurse (RGN and RMN)
  • officer of the armed services
  • optician
  • paralegal (certified paralegal, qualified paralegal or associate member of the Institute of Paralegals)
  • person with honours (an OBE or MBE, for example)
  • pharmacist
  • photographer (professional)
  • police officer
  • Post Office official
  • publicly elected representative (MP, Councillor etc)
  • president/secretary of a recognised organisation
  • Salvation Army officer
  • social worker
  • solicitor
  • surveyor
  • teacher, lecturer
  • trade union officer
  • travel agent (qualified)
  • valuer or auctioneer (fellows and associate members of the incorporated society)
  • Warrant Officers and Chief Petty Officers

It is important to note that an unemployed/retired person who is of good standing in the community is not precluded from attesting an application.

You must judge each attestation on its individual merits rather than apply a blanket policy.

Is the qualifying attestor registered to vote?

Attestors of an elector’s address must be registered to vote.7 If the attestor’s qualifying or registration address is in the same local authority area as the applicant, you should check your electoral register to confirm whether the attestor satisfies this condition.

If the attestor’s qualifying or registration address is not in the same local authority area as the applicant, you should contact the attestor’s ERO to check if the attestor fulfils the conditions.

Has the attestor already provided address attestations for two individuals within a prescribed period?

Attestors are limited to signing address attestations for no more than two individuals in any one electoral year (normally from 1 December to 30 November), or since their entry was added to the register in that local authority area, whichever is the shortest period.8 You must be satisfied that an attestor has not exceeded the limit. 

Where the limit has been reached, you should reject the attestation for this reason. This does not prevent the applicant from seeking another attestation from a different elector. You should process attestations in the order they are received.

If the attestor fulfils all the conditions, the attestation should be accepted, and you should record this against the elector’s record. This will then count towards this elector’s total allowable address attestations.

Last updated: 13 December 2023