Register to vote
Please note: You do not need to re-register if you're already on the register of electors. For example, you were registered to vote at the Local Election in May 2018, and you have not since moved home.
If you think you may already be registered and would like to check, please email Electoral Services on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8359 5577 (we may need to ask you questions to check your identity).
Individual electoral registration
Individual electoral registration was introduced nationally in June 2014.
Each person is now responsible for registering themselves and providing their date of birth and National Insurance number as identification.
Being on the electoral register could also improve an individual’s credit rating.
Who can vote
To vote in a local council election a person must be registered to vote, 18 years or over on polling day in England and Wales, and also be one of the following:
- a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the European Union
- resident in the UK
- not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote
The following cannot vote in a local council election:
- anyone other than British, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizens
- convicted persons detained in pursuance of their sentences, excluding contempt of court (though remand prisoners, unconvicted prisoners and civil prisoners can vote if they are on the electoral register)
- anyone found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election
Service voters - Members of the armed forces and their partners may register as service voters but must register annually online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or they can now register as ordinary electors.
Crown servants - Crown servants working abroad and their partners may register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Overseas electors - British Citizens living abroad may register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. They can remain registered for up to 15 years after they last appeared on the register of electors in the United Kingdom.
More information about who is eligible to vote.
Support for people with learning disabilities on the voting process
United Response, the national disability charity have produced the Every Vote Counts website which contains specific information on the voting process.
Mencap have also produced an easy read guide to voting for people with learning disability that explains how to register to vote as well as the different types of voting. It has been written together with the Electoral Commission.
Registering to vote: frequently asked questions
Does my registration automatically get amended if I move?
No. You must complete a new application to register at your new address. You can do this online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Re-registering for Council Tax does not automatically change your electoral registration details as the law requires that separate applications are needed for both systems.
Am I automatically registered to vote if I pay council tax?
No. Even if you are registered to pay council tax, you are not automatically registered to vote. To register, please visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
I registered to vote but haven't had any confirmation
Please email Electoral Services on email@example.com on phone 020 8359 5577.
My name needs to be amended (such as a change through marriage or via deed poll)
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming your change of name and address. Please also provide documentary evidence such as your marriage certificate or deed poll certificate.
If I am registered, do I have to vote?
No. Although the law states that you must return registration information when requested to do so, there is no obligation on you to vote. It is your choice, but voting at elections enables you to influence who makes important decisions on your behalf.
I am a student. Can I vote?
Students may register to vote at their term-time address, their home address or both. However, you can only vote once in the same election. Register here: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Can I register if I do not have a permanent address?
Please contact Electoral Services on email@example.com or 020 8359 5577 for guidance.
Do I have to register to vote for every election?
You only need to register once - you don’t need to register separately for every election. You must register again if you’ve changed address, name or nationality.
If you are not sure whether you are registered to vote, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8359 5577 for more information.