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Register to vote

The registration system changed in June 2014. The new system is called Individual Electoral Registration. This is the biggest change to the voter registration system in 100 years.

How is the new system different?

  • You can register online at
  • Everyone is responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the 'head of every household' could register everyone who lived at their address.
  • You need to provide a few more details to register - including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.

How do I register under the new system if I am not already registered?

  1. Go to
  2. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You'll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.
  3. Look out for a confirmation to say you're registered.

Why should I register under this new system?

You need to register in order to be able to vote. If you aren't registered to vote, you won't have the chance to have a say on who represents you.

Some people also register to vote because they want to apply for credit. This is because credit reference agencies use the register to check where someone lives when they apply for credit in order to prevent fraud.

Do I have to pay to register?

Registering to vote is free and you should not be charged for this. Please visit to submit your application for registration.

Paper-based registration

You could instead ask us to send you a registration form by post, which will take a few days. E-mail with your name(s) and address.

The household form

Every year householders/occupiers are required to complete a household form, which will now be referred to as the household enquiry form.

The householders/occupiers are required by law to give the required information.

We also sent the household forms to some addresses in multiple-occupancy.

When the forms are returned any new potential electors will be sent invitations to become registered.

The electoral register and the open register

Every person applying to become registered is asked to choose whether to have their details excluded from the open register.

Any elector can contact us at at any time to ask us to remove their details from the open register.  You will need to specify your name and address and that you want your details excluded from it.

Exclusion from the open register will not affect your voting rights or credit status.

Electoral register

The electoral register is used for:

  • electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote;
  • other limited purposes specified in law.

The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.

Who uses the electoral register?

Users of the electoral register include:

  • Election staff, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office use the register for electoral purposes.
  • Your local council and the British Library hold copies that anybody may look at under supervision. A copy is also held by:
    • the Electoral Commission;
    • Boundary Commissions (which set constituency boundary for most elections);
    • and the Office for National Statistics.
  • The council can use the register for duties relating to security, enforcing the law and preventing crime. The police and the security services can also use it for law enforcement.
  • The electoral register is used when calling people for jury service.
  • Government departments may buy the register from local registration officers and use it to help prevent and detect crime. They can also use it to safeguard national security by checking the background of job applicants and employees.
  • Credit reference agencies can buy the register. They help other organisations to check the names and addresses of people applying for credit. They also use it to carry out identity checks when trying to prevent and detect money laundering.

It is a criminal offence for anybody to supply or use the register for anything else.

Open register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. 

The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.

  • Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. 
  • Removing your details from the open register would not affect your right to vote. 

Who uses the open register?

Users of the open register include:

  • businesses checking the identity and address of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire and property rental, as well as when they shop online
  • businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol and gambling online, to meet the rules on verifying the age of their customers
  • charities and other voluntary agencies, for example to help maintain contact information for those who have chosen to donate bone marrow and to help people separated by adoption to find each other
  • charities, to help with fundraising and contacting people who have made donations
  • debt collection agencies when tracing people who have changed their address without telling their creditors
  • direct marketing firms when maintaining their mailing lists
  • landlords and letting agents when checking the identity of potential tenants
  • local councils when identifying and contacting residents
  • online directory firms to help users of the websites find people, such as when reuniting friends and families
  • organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies
  • private sector firms to verify details of job applicants.

In order to vote, your name must be on the electoral register. Not everybody is entitled to become or remain registered as this will depend on:

  • nationality;
  • age;
  • immigration status;
  • and whether the person is resident at the address where he or she wants to be registered.

There is no automatic registration of electors from other records, such as Council Tax.

Electoral register inspection

Public inspection of the register of electors

 In accordance with the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 your attention is drawn to the following:

  • This Register is open to public inspection, and can be viewed at the Town Hall, High Street, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 1EB under supervision and contains the names of all those registered to vote in the Borough of Gosport.
  • If your details are incorrect or your name is not included in the register, please advise the Electoral Services office immediately by telephoning 023 9254 5227. Extracts from this register may only be recorded by making handwritten notes.  Photocopying or electronic recording are not permitted by law.
  • Information taken from the register should not be used for commercial purposes, unless the information has been published in the edited version of the register which is also available for inspection.
  • Under the Regulations referred to above, anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a CRIMINAL offence.  The penalty is a fine of up to level 5 (currently £5,000).

The register is available to view, by appointment only by calling 023 9254 5227.

Changing your name

If you have changed your name but your address remains the same:

  • e-mail the electoral registration team, giving us your previous name and your address, and we will send you a change of details form
  • you will need to provide supporting evidence, such as:
    • marriage or civil partnership certificate;
    • deed poll;
    • amended birth certificate.

If you have changed your name and you have also moved address:

  • you should make a fresh registration application using the secure online service;
  • your name, date or birth and national insurance number will be verified against other records, and if your name is not verified you will be asked to provide evidence of your identity.

Overseas Electors

If you are a British citizen living outside the UK but you were resident and registered as an elector in the UK during the past 15 years, you can apply to be registered as an overseas elector.

Note, however, that overseas electors cannot vote at local elections.

Crown Servants and British Council overseas

People employed by the government or by the British Council to work overseas for considerable periods can apply to register as Crown Servants.  To do this, you will need to fill out the Crown Servant elector application form.

Note, however, that overseas electors cannot vote at local elections.

Contact details

Electoral Services team
Telephone: 023 9254 5227

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