Voter ID - Frequently asked questions

Voter ID - Frequently asked questions

What’s this about?

The law changed, and from 4 May 2023 all electors who vote in a polling station are required to show photographic ID before being issued with a ballot paper for certain elections. The government has introduced this measure as part of the Elections Act 2022. 


 What type of ID do I need to show?

There are a lot of documents that can be accepted; the main ones that many people may already possess are a British passport or a UK photocard driving licence. You can also use a passport or driving licence issued by a Commonwealth country or a European Economic Area (EEA) member state. Some concessionary travel passes can be accepted as can the PASS proof of age scheme card. The full list of approved documents can be seen here:

We will also list all of the accepted documents on your poll card which wil be sent in advance of any elections. Please keep an eye out for your poll card letter – the envelope will very clearly state on the front that your poll card is inside.


 Does my document need to be in date?

No, an expired document is fine so long as the photo of you is of a good likeness.


 What if I don’t have one of the accepted forms of ID?

You can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) – either online: or you can contact us for a paper application form or to arrange to complete the application with us in person or over the phone. The deadline for applying for a VAC is 5pm, 6 working days before polling day.  We can also take a photo of you for the application if you can’t provide this yourself. Call us on 0191 278 7878 or email us at for more information.


 How will this work in practice in the polling station?

When you arrive at your polling station the polling station staff will ask if you have your ID document with you and will ask to see it. They will then issue you with your ballot paper(s) in the usual way. That’s all you need to do.


 I vote by post – do I need to show ID?... 

No, postal voting has its own inbuilt security features because you are required to provide a signature and date of birth on your postal voting statement which are matched against the signature and date of birth you provided in your postal vote application. We check that these match before your ballot paper is accepted.


I vote by post and I sometimes drop my completed postal vote into my polling station – do I need to show ID?

No, the Voter ID requirement is only for electors who vote in polling stations. You can still drop your completed postal vote into your station without needing to show any ID but you will be required to complete a declaration when you do so.


 I act as a proxy voter for someone. Whose ID will I need to show?

If you are a registered proxy voter who is voting at a polling station on behalf of someone else then you will need to show your ID in order to receive the ballot paper. You do not need to show their ID.


 I don’t want to show my ID to anyone in public. What provision is there for me?

We are providing privacy screens in all our polling stations so that anyone who wants to show their ID to the polling station staff in private can do so. Just ask the staff for this and they will arrange it. You don’t need to provide any reason for a private ID check.


 I wear a face covering for religious purposes and I need a female member of staff to conduct my ID check – can this be accommodated?

Absolutely - we will ensure that there is a female member of staff available to conduct your ID check. We may ask you to wait for a few minutes for a female member of staff to arrive at the station. If you have any concerns about this please call us for a confidential chat.


 What happens if I lose my ID document before the election or have it stolen?

If your ID document is lost, damaged or stolen then you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate at any time up to 5pm, 6 working days before polling day. If it is lost, damaged or stolen after that time then you can apply for an emergency proxy vote (where someone else votes at the polling station on your behalf using their ID) up to 5pm on election day . Contact us on 0191 278 7878 / for more information.


 How do I register to vote?

You can apply online or you can download a form from our website (below) or contact us on 0191 278 7878 / if you would like us to send you a paper application form. You need to apply by 12 working days before any election in order to be registered.


 I currently vote in a polling station but I would prefer to vote by post – what do I need to do?

You can download a form from our website shown below or contact us on 0191 278 7878/ You will need to apply by 5pm, 11 working days before an election for your postal vote to be in place for that election.


 Any more questions?

Visit our website, call us on 0191 278 7878 or email us at

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