Voter ID

Voter ID requirements from May 2023

The next scheduled elections to take place in Cheltenham are in May 2024. However, from May 2023 as part of the Elections Act 2022, if you want to vote in person, including those acting as a proxy on behalf of another individual, you will need to bring an accepted form of identification (ID) to the polling station to get your ballot papers. Voters who do not produce a Voter Authority Certificate, or valid photo identification will not be allowed to vote on the day.

Acceptable forms of photographic ID

Some examples of acceptable ID:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or Commonwealth country
  • Photographic driving licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional driving licence)
  • European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID card
  • UK biometric residence permit
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
  • Blue badge

View the full list of acceptable photographic ID on the government website.

You will still be able to use ID that has expired provided the photograph still shows likeness. 

Only original documents are accepted. Scanned images, photocopies or pictures on a device such as a mobile phone will not be accepted.

No suitable photo ID?

If you do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free photographic identification document specific for the purposes of voting.

To get a Voter Authority Certificate you can:

  • apply online at GOV.UK
  • apply in person at the Municipal Offices; you can contact us on 01242 264132 or email to make an appointment, or
  • complete a paper application; please contact us and we will post an application to you.

We will accept scanned copies of the paper applications for Voter Authority Certificates sent via email to Paper applications may also be posted or handed in to the council offices. Please note that you need to have your National Insurance Number to apply. 

Drop-in sessions

If you need any help applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or can't apply online, we are holding a number of drop-in sessions throughout Cheltenham.You do not need to book an appointment to attend the drop in session, you just need to bring your National Insurance Number. 

The dates and locations are:

  • Up Hatherley Library: Tuesday 2 May, 11am to 12:45pm
  • Cornerstone Centre: Thursday 11 May, 11am to 2pm
  • Cheltenham library: Friday 19 May, 12pm to 2pm
  • Charlton Kings library: Friday 26 May, 10am to 12pm
  • Hesters Way library: Friday 23 June, 2pm to 4pm
  • Prestbury library: Thursday 29 June, 10am to 12pm

Postal votes

If you have a postal vote, you will not be required to supply photo ID and you will be issued with your postal ballot papers as usual. If you would prefer to vote by post, you can apply for a postal vote.

More information

For more information please visit our voter ID frequently asked questions page or go to the Electoral Commission voter ID pages.