Registering to vote means that you can exercise your democratic right to vote in elections and referendums. The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote.
The easiest way to register is to apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, but if you can't get online you can call or email us and we will assist you further.
Who can register?
Anyone who is 16 or over (but a person is not eligible to vote until 18) and is a British citizen or an Irish, EU or Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK.
British Dependent Territories
European Union Citizens and Commonwealth Countries
Any British citizen living overseas can be registered to vote in the UK in general elections, referendums and European elections for 15 years after they were last on the electoral register. Overseas voters are not allowed to vote in local or mayoral elections.
Everyone is now responsible for their own registration, previously the 'head of household' provided the information to register everyone living at the address. To ensure the register is more secure and resistant to threats of electoral fraud applicants need to confirm their identity by providing their date of birth and National Insurance Number.
Why should I register?
You cannot vote if you are not registered.
It is a legal requirement to register to vote if you are asked to do so.
The electoral register is used by credit referencing agencies when checking if a person has a good credit rating. If you are not registered you may have difficulties opening a bank account, obtaining a mortgage, a loan or a mobile phone contract.
Even if you pay council tax or are registered to My Account you will not be automatically registered to vote.
The electoral register is also used to call people for Jury Service. There is evidence that fewer young people and people from ethnic minorities register to vote with the result that they are under-represented in the judicial system.
How do I know when and where to vote?
Shortly before any election, every elector is sent a poll card which gives information about when the election is to take place and where each elector's polling station is located. You do not need to take the polling card with you to be able to vote, however it is quicker if you have the card with you.
What if I am unable to get to a polling station?
If you are unable to get to your polling station on election day you may apply for a postal vote. Further information is available on the Postal Vote page. Alternatively if you are unable to get to your polling station and are not able to have a postal vote then you can apply for a proxy vote. Further information is available on the Proxy Vote page.
If you would like to request a postal application form please complete our online form.