Running electoral registration - Scotland

Verification of an applicant's identity for an overseas elector application

Any person making a new application to be registered must provide personal identifiers which are used to verify the applicant’s identity against DWP records. 

The verification of identity process is in addition to the verification required as to whether an applicant meets the eligibility conditions as an overseas elector to have been either previously registered or resident at an address in the UK.

The following information contained in the application will be checked against DWP records:

  • Name
  • Previous name (where relevant)
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Postcode of the applicant’s qualifying address

Applicants who are not able to provide their National Insurance number but have provided a reason why they are not able to do so should be contacted and asked to provide documentary evidence1 which verifies their identity. 

Regardless of when an application for registration as an overseas elector is received, you must send the relevant information for verification matching against DWP data and take the results into account when deciding whether to allow the application.2  

If the applicant’s identity cannot be verified using DWP records, their identifiers may also be checked against local data sources.

If you are still unable to verify the applicant’s identity using local data sources, you may choose to:

  • use any documentary evidence provided by the applicant at the time of application to verify their identity
  • request the applicant provides documentary evidence which verifies that they are who they say they are

If you remain unable to verify the applicant’s identity after using the documentary evidence provided, you may require the applicant to provide an identity attestation or, in some rare cases, more than one attestation, or an attestation combined with documentary evidence. For more information see our guidance on the identity attestations process

Last updated: 13 December 2023