Voter ID FAQs

Will photocopies or a picture of identification be accepted?

No, you must present an original form of photo ID. A photograph, photocopy or copies of images on mobile phones or other electronic devices will not be accepted as photo-editing software could be used to edit them, making them susceptible to fraudulent alteration.

My photo ID has expired, what should I do? 

Expired photo ID is still accepted, as long as the photograph is still a good likeness of you.

Do I need to re-apply for my Voter Authority Certificate/Anonymous Elector Document if I change my address?   

No, it is not necessary as the Voter Authority Certificate does not show your address. Applicants who are applying for the Voter Authority Certificate will not need to reapply for a new Voter Authority Certificate if they have changed address.

Anonymous applicants will have to reapply for a Anonymous Elector Document if they change address (either within the same local authority or a different local authority) because their elector number will be different at their new address.

My name on the electoral register is different from the name on my photo ID, what should I do?

The decision on whether an identification document bearing a different name or an alternative spelling of a name from the one on the register can be accepted but will be at the discretion of the polling station staff, who must be satisfied that the identification provided is acceptable.

For example, if your name has changed through marriage, you may be required to provide evidence of a name change such as a marriage certificate.

If you have changed your name and need to update it on the electoral register, you can submit an online form or contact the electoral services team.

I have a proxy/emergency proxy in place, does my proxy have to bring photographic ID to vote on my behalf?

Yes, anyone who has appointed a proxy or emergency proxy to vote on your behalf, the proxy must bring their own photographic ID to present at the polling station. They do not need to bring photographic ID of you (the elector they are voting on behalf of) they only need to bring their own ID.

What is the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate?   

The deadline is 5pm on the sixth working day before the relevant election. Any applications received after the deadline will not be processed until after the relevant election.

What should I do if my ID is lost or stolen close to polling day? 

If this happens before the deadline for applications for a Voter Authority Certificate, you may apply for one. 

If this happens after the deadline, you may apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. An emergency proxy is when you will nominate someone that you trust to go to the polling station to vote on your behalf. 

What should I do if I can't complete an online application or are unable provide a digital photograph to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate? 

If you are unable to provide a digital photo, you can contact the electoral services team and you can arrange for them to take a photograph for you. Alternatively, can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate via a paper application form and provide a physical photograph with that application. An online application cannot be made if you do not have (or cannot take) a digital photo.

What are the photograph requirements when submitting an application for a Voter Authority Certificate?   

Anyone wanting to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate must provide a suitable colour photograph when applying online or submitting a paper application. The photo must meet the following requirements:  

  • A close-up photograph of the head and shoulders  
  • No other items or persons in the background  
  • No covering of the head unless worn for religious beliefs or medical reasons. Your face must not be covered for any reason
  • In focus and clear (not blurry)
  • In colour and taken against a light and plain background  
  • Free from red eye, shadows and not in the reflection of windows or mirrors  
  • Resembles a true likeness of the applicant without alteration 

The applicant photo must show them:   

  • Facing forwards  
  • Without covering your face  
  • Looking straight at the camera  
  • With a plain facial expression  
  • Eyes open and visible (e.g. no sunglasses or eyes being covered by hair). Please note this does not apply if you are unable to provide a photograph which complies with either or both of those requirements owing to any disability. If you are unable to meet the requirements, please call our electoral services team on 01242 264132.   

I have not received my Voter Authority Certificate, what do I do?

If if you have not received your Voter Authority Certificate within 28 days of application please contact the electoral services team.

If you have applied for a Voter Authority Certificate by the deadline but you have not received it on this date, then you should contact the electoral services team. We will be able to issue with a temporary Voter Authority Certificate, valid only for the specific polling day, which you will need to collect in person from the Municipal Offices.

If I am issued with a temporary Voter Authority Certificate, do I have to re-apply for a permanent Certificate?

No. Temporary certificates will only be issued if there is an issue with you receiving your permanent certificate. If your permanent certificate is late in the post, it should arrive after polling day and so no further action is needed. However, if the temporary certificate was issued because the permanent certificate was damaged on arrival, we will arrange for a new one to be printed.