Voter ID in Polling Stations
Information regarding voting in person at a Polling Station from May 2023
Voter ID in Polling Stations
The Government introduced legislation in 2022 that will take effect from 04 May 2023, requiring electors who vote at a polling station to show photographic identification (ID) before being given a ballot paper to vote in the following elections:
- UK Parliamentary General Elections;
- Borough Council and County Council elections in England;
- Local referenda in England;
- Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales; and
- Recall petitions.
This legislation is intended to ensure the security of the voting process and to reduce the risk of voter fraud through personation.
Voters at the polling station will need to show just one of the photo IDs from the list below:
- UK passport;
- Passport for a Commonwealth country or a European Economic Area (EEA) state (see FAQs below for a list of these countries and states);
- Photocard driving licence (includes a provisional licence);
- Photocard driving licence from Channel Islands, Isle of Man or EEA state;
- Proof of Age (PASS) card;
- Concessionary Travel pass/card (in Hampshire, this is the Older person or disabled person's bus pass issued by Hampshire County Council);
- Ministry of Defence Form 90 (MOD90);
- Blue Badge scheme photocard parking permit;
- EEA state national identity card which bears a photograph of the voter;
- Biometric immigration document issued in the United Kingdom;
- an Older Person's Bus Pass;
- a Disabled Person's Bus Pass;
- an Oyster 60+ Card;
- 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;
- Voter Authority Certificate (for those without other photo ID) - applications will be able to be made online to GOV.UK or by a paper form. The application process for this type of Certificate will open on Monday 16 January 2023; or
- Anonymous Elector Document - the application process for this type of Certificate will open around mid-January 2023.
If your photo ID has expired, you can still use it if the photo remains a good likeness of you. But only original documents will be accepted; scanned images or copies will not be accepted.
If you or someone you know doesn't have one of these ID available to use, then you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate to use as your photo ID at the election instead. It will last for around 10 years and can be used for all elections in that time. There is more information on the Voter Authority Certificate page.
The requirement to have photographic ID only affects people voting in person at a polling station. It does not affect postal voters who have their identification verified by their signatures and date of births.
What will actually happen in the polling station on election day?
Your Poll Card will advise you which Polling Station you must attend to cast your vote, on polling day, between 7am and 10pm, and will include a reminder that you will need to take ID with you to get your ballot paper.
Because of the need to check ID and make a note of what types of ID are used, you should anticipate the process of receiving your ballot paper taking a little longer than usual and the possibility of short queues forming at busy times.
No details will be taken from the ID you use, only a note of what type you use will be recorded to inform the Government and the Electoral Commission on which are the most popular types of ID being used.
What about postal voters?
If you choose to vote by post nothing will change. Voter ID has no impact on postal voting, only voting in a polling station.
You can apply for a postal vote by e-mailing the elections team or calling us on 023 9254 5227.
You won't need to present any ID as your identification is verified by your signature and date of birth on your postal voting statement compared to your signature and date of birth on your postal vote application form.
Which countries are in the Commonwealth, Channel Islands, European Union (EU), and the European Economic Area (EEA)?
Please view the links below to see the list of countries in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), the Commonwealth and the Channel Islands.
Countries in the EU and EEA (opens in a new window)
Member countries | Commonwealth - (opens in a new window)