Running electoral registration - Scotland

How to use the address attestation process for an overseas elector application

You may require an applicant to provide an address attestation where you consider that additional evidence is necessary to be satisfied that an applicant has a previous connection to the relevant address.1

An address attestation must:2

  • confirm that the applicant was resident at the relevant address3
  • give an indication of the dates between which, to the best of the qualifying attestor’s knowledge, the applicant was resident at that address4
  • be in writing and signed by the qualified attestor5  
  • state the qualifying attestor’s full name, date of birth, occupation, residential address and (if different) the address at which they are registered as an elector6  
  • state7
    • where the qualifying attestor is registered as an overseas elector, the attestor’s British passport number together with its date and place of issue or
    • where the qualifying attestor is registered as a domestic or service voter, the attestor’s electoral number [or, if the qualifying attestor is registered in Northern Ireland, the applicant’s Digital Registration Number (DRN)]
  • include an explanation that the qualifying attestor is able to confirm the applicant met the relevant requirement, including (but not limited to) the qualifying attestor’s connection to the applicant and the length of time that that connection has existed8
  • include an indication that the qualifying attestor is aware that it is an offence to provide false information to the registration officer9  
  • include a declaration by the qualifying attestor that all information provided in the attestation is true10
  • state the date on which it is made11

Where you require an applicant to provide an address attestation, you should write to them to communicate the legislative requirements for an address attestation. You could either design a form containing the necessary legal statements and requirements for an attestation or set out the detail of the requirements in a letter to the applicant. The AEA have developed a template that you could use. 

You could set a deadline date for the applicant to respond. This will help you if you decide to reject an application because no response has been received. The period of time given to applicants to respond is at your discretion. However, you should allow a reasonable amount of time for the applicant to source and return their attestation.

An attestation may be delivered to your office by hand, by post or by electronic means, such as email. If the attestation is sent electronically, the signature of an attestor must be a photograph or scanned image of a handwritten wet signature attached to an email.

You can also require an address attestation for particular categories of elector where you consider that additional evidence is needed. Specific information needs to be included in the address attestations for these categories of elector:

  • those who were treated as resident at a particular address as a merchant seaman12
  • those previously registered as a service voter or overseas elector
  • those previously registered via a declaration of local connection, or those who would have been entitled to register via a declaration of local connection, on the last day on which they were resident in the UK

For more information on the requirements of address attestations for these particular categories of electors, see our guidance on:

Last updated: 13 December 2023