Running electoral registration - Wales

Voter Authority Certificates and Anonymous Elector's Documents

From May 2023 individuals, who wish to vote in person, including those acting as a proxy on behalf of another individual, will be required to produce an accepted form of photographic ID to prove their identity before they will be issued with a ballot paper.

This will apply at:

  • UK parliamentary by-elections 
  • Recall petitions
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections

The legislation commencing for the requirement for voter ID to be provided at UK Parliamentary General elections will only take effect for polls after 5 October 2023.

The accepted forms of photographic ID are1

  • a passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state, or a Commonwealth country (including an Irish Passport Card)
  • a driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
  • a biometric immigration document
  • an identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • a Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • a Blue Badge
  • a national identity card issued by an EEA state
  • an Older Person’s Bus Pass funded by the Government of the United Kingdom
  • a Disabled Person’s Bus Pass funded by the Government of the United Kingdom
  • an Oyster 60+ Card funded by the Government of the United Kingdom
  • a Freedom Pass
  • a Scottish National Entitlement Card issued in Scotland
  • a 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
  • a Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
  • a Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • a Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • a War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • a 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • a Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • an Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland 

Expired photographic identification documents can still be used as accepted photographic ID at the polling station or signing place, as long as the photograph is still a good likeness of the elector.

Where an individual does not have or does not wish to use one of these accepted forms of photographic ID, they can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. This is a document containing an elector’s name and photograph which can be obtained free of charge from their local Electoral Registration Officer (ERO), following verification of an applicant’s identity.

Anonymous electors wishing to vote in person will also need to produce photographic ID. Due to their entry on the polling station register being linked to their electoral number, rather than their name, the only accepted form of photographic ID for an anonymous elector will be an Anonymous Elector’s Document. This is a document containing an anonymous elector’s elector number and photograph which can be obtained free of charge from their local ERO, following verification of an applicant’s identity. 

The Voter Authority Certificate and Anonymous Elector’s Document cannot be used as proof of identity for any other purpose than for voting.

This guidance covers how individuals can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate or Anonymous Elector’s Document, and how you as ERO should process and determine these applications. It also includes information on the production and delivery of these documents and what data should be retained following applications. 

Last updated: 27 February 2023