Voter photo ID needed at polling stations

From 4 May 2023, voters in England will need to show photo ID to vote in person at polling stations.

If you do not have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free voter photo ID document, called a 'Voter Authority Certificate'.

You will not need to provide photo ID to vote if you have chosen to vote by post. This is because there are other identification checks, including verification of your national insurance number, signature and date of birth, both when you apply for a postal vote and when you submit your ballot paper. 

Accepted forms of photo ID

You can use any one of the following accepted forms of photo ID when voting at a polling station

  • 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
  • Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
  • A Blue Badge
  • Older Person’s Bus Pass
  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • Freedom Pass
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National Identity Card issued by an EEA state
  • Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
  • Voter Authority Certificate.

You will only need to show one of the above forms of photo ID. It needs to be the original version and not a photocopy.

Out of date photo ID

You can still use your photo ID if it is out of date, as long as it still looks like you.

The name on your photo ID must be the same name you used to register to vote. If you have changed your name recently, you should update your name on the electoral register by emailing with evidence of your name change.

If you do not have an accepted form of photo ID

You can apply for a free voter photo ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if you:

  • do not have any of the accepted forms of photo ID shown in the list above
  • are not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you
  • are worried about using an existing form of photo ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker

You can also apply by filling out a paper application form and returning it to the Electoral Services Office. Contact the elections team on 020 8825 7777 or email to ask for a paper form.

You must be registered to vote before applying for a Voter Authority Certificate. 

What if I cannot get online or need support with my application?

If you cannot get online and want to request a paper application form, or if you need help to apply, please contact us on 020 8825 7777 or email

I am a postal voter - do I need photo ID?

No. Postal voters won't need to show or provide photo ID. If you want to apply to vote by post, you must complete a postal vote application

Photo ID is in an old name - what do I do?

Your photo ID in your former name is still acceptable (as long as it still looks like you) but you will need to bring evidence of your name change (for example marriage certificate or deed poll) to the polling station as well.

If you have changed your name recently, you should update your name on the electoral register by emailing with evidence of your name change. 

I am not registered to vote, what do I do?

If you are not registered, you can apply online. If you also need to apply for a voter photo ID, register first and then make a voter photo ID application. You can do these at the same time, as long as you register to vote first. 

How can I check if I am registered to vote?

If you received a poll card at previous elections, then you are registered to vote. If you are not sure if you are registered (especially if you have changed address recently) then you can contact us to check on 020 8825 7777 or email

When will my voter photo ID expire? Do I need to re-apply if I change address?

The free voter photo ID (also known as a Voter Authority Certificate) does not have an expiry date - but we expect them to last roughly 10 years, and you will need to continue to look like the photograph. You do not need to re-apply for a voter photo ID if you change address - you can still use the photo ID you have. You will just need to register to vote at your new address if you have moved.