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Introduction

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID at some elections.

In Northern Ireland, voters have been required to show ID when voting since 1985, and photo ID since 2003.

The new requirement does not change this.

The only acceptable forms of ID in Northern Ireland are:

  • a UK, Irish or EU passport
  • a UK, Irish or EEA driving licence
  • a Translink 60+ Smartpass
  • a Translink Senior Smartpass
  • a Translink Blind Person's Smartpass
  • a Translink War Disabled Smartpass
  • an Electoral Identity Card
  • a Translink Half Fare SmartPass
  • a biometric immigration document

The ID can be expired, but staff at the polling station must be satisfied that you are the person in the photograph on the ID.

Find out more about what photo ID is accepted and how to apply for an Electoral Identity Card on the Electoral Office of Northern Ireland website.

Deadline to apply

Upcoming by-elections

If you are voting in the Rochdale by-election on 29 February, the deadline to apply for free voter ID is 5pm on Wednesday 21 February.

Local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections

The deadline to apply for free voter ID for the elections on Thursday 2 May is 5pm on Wednesday 24 April.

Deadline to apply

The deadline to apply for free voter ID for the elections on Thursday 2 May is 5pm on Wednesday 24 April.

Voter ID requirement

Voters in England need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections.

This applies to:

  • UK parliamentary elections, including general elections, by-elections and recall petitions
  • Local elections and by-elections
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections

Find out more about accepted forms of photo ID, how to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, and what to expect on polling day.

Voter ID requirement

Voters in Wales need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections.

This applies to:

  • UK parliamentary elections, including general elections, by-elections and recall petitions
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections

Find out more about accepted forms of photo ID, how to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, and what to expect on polling day.

Voters in Wales will not need to show photo ID to vote at a polling station at Senedd elections or local council elections.

Voter ID requirement

Voters in Scotland need to show photo ID to vote at polling places in some elections.

This applies to UK parliamentary elections, including general elections, by-elections and recall petitions. 

Find out more about accepted forms of photo ID, how to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, and what to expect on polling day.

Voters in Scotland will not need to show photo ID at Scottish Parliament elections or at council elections.

Voter ID requirement

Overseas voters in the UK on polling day need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations.

This applies to UK parliamentary elections, including general elections, by-elections and recall petitions.

Find out more about accepted forms of photo ID, how to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, and what to expect on polling day.

If you don't have an accepted form of ID

Don’t have ID? Apply for free voter ID now

If you don't have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate. The deadline to apply for free voter ID for the elections on Thursday 2 May is 5pm on Wednesday 24 April.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

If you don't have an accepted form of ID

Don’t have ID? Apply for free voter ID now

If you don't have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

Supporting others

Supporting people to meet the voter ID requirement

We know that some groups are more likely to experience barriers created by the voter ID requirement and may need support to access photo ID.

Organisations working directly with voters, including local authorities and charities, can help voters make sure they have photo ID ahead of any election where this requirement applies.

We have produced a set of resources for use in England and Wales ahead of the elections on 2 May 2024. These resources will help organisations raise awareness, and support voters with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, if needed. This pack also includes information on voter registration, and information tailored to the needs of specific groups.

A generic set of resources with information relevant to any election requiring photo ID is also available. 

We have also published bespoke resources to support people who are registered to vote anonymously, or who might benefit from doing so. 

We have also published bespoke resources to support people who are registered to vote anonymously, or who might benefit from doing so.

Explore our partner resources for the elections on 2 May 2024

Explore our generic resources which apply to any election requiring voter ID

Supporting others

Supporting people to meet the voter ID requirement

We know that some groups are more likely to experience barriers created by the voter ID requirement and may need support to access photo ID.

Organisations working directly with voters, including local authorities and charities, can help voters make sure they have photo ID ahead of any election where this requirement applies.

We have produced a set of resources for use in England and Wales ahead of the elections on 2 May 2024. These resources will help organisations raise awareness, and support voters with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, if needed. This pack also includes information on voter registration, and information tailored to the needs of specific groups.

A generic set of resources with information relevant to any election requiring photo ID is also available. 

We have also published bespoke resources to support people who are registered to vote anonymously, or who might benefit from doing so. 

We have also published bespoke resources to support people who are registered to vote anonymously, or who might benefit from doing so.

Explore our partner resources for the elections on 2 May 2024

Explore our generic resources which apply to any election requiring voter ID

Supporting others

Supporting people to meet the voter ID requirement

We know that some groups are more likely to experience barriers created by the voter ID requirement and may need support to access photo ID.

Organisations working directly with voters, including local authorities and charities, can help voters make sure they have photo ID ahead of any election where this requirement applies.

We have produced a set of resources for use in England and Wales ahead of the elections on 2 May 2024. These resources will help organisations raise awareness, and support voters with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, if needed. This pack also includes information on voter registration, and information tailored to the needs of specific groups.

A generic set of resources with information relevant to any election requiring photo ID is also available. 

We have also published bespoke resources to support people who are registered to vote anonymously, or who might benefit from doing so. 

We have also published bespoke resources to support people who are registered to vote anonymously, or who might benefit from doing so.

Explore our partner resources for the elections on 2 May 2024

Explore our generic resources which apply to any election requiring voter ID

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