Changes to the way you vote from May 2023

From May 2023 you will be required to show an official form of photographic identification (ID) when you vote in person at a polling station, a list of acceptable ID documents is included below. If you do not have any of the accepted forms of ID you will be able to apply online for a free Voter Authority Certificate – this is a photographic identity document specifically for the purpose of voting.

If you own an accepted form of photographic ID but it has expired it can still be used, as long as the photograph is still a good likeness of you.

The application service for Voter Authority Certificates is expected go live mid January 2023, please check our website for updates and information on how you can apply. If you need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, make sure you do so in good time ahead of it being required at the polling station.

Acceptable forms of ID will include:

  • a passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • a driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state
  • a biometric immigration document
  • an identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • a Blue Badge
  • a national identity card issued by an EEA state
  • 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 or War Disabled 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

Postal voting

If you use a postal vote you do not need a photo ID. If you are currently using postal vote then you carry on as normal. If don’t currently have a postal vote and you are registered to vote in an election or referendum, you may be able to vote by post. A postal vote counts the same as a vote in person and is subject to the same security and secrecy provisions.

You do not automatically get a postal vote even if you are correctly registered for an election or referendum. If you do not already have a postal vote, you have to request one. You do not have to ask for a postal vote just for a particular election or referendum but can have it for all subsequent ones.

Please apply for a postal vote well before Election Day to request a postal vote as you will need to receive, complete and return a postal vote application form.

We mail out the postal votes about 2 weeks before Election Day and we include a prepaid envelope for their return to our offices. Don’t forget to return your postal vote before Election Day, or it will not be counted.

Full details of how postal votes work, and the rules governing them are provided by the Electoral Commission.

Application forms for postal voting are available from the GOV.UK website.

The form needs to be printed and completed by hand. We accept scanned versions, these can be emailed to Alternatively please send paper versions to FAO Electoral Services, Thorpe Lodge, 1 Yarmouth Road, Norwich, NR7 0DU.

Posted on behalf of Councillor Vic Thomson

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