Register to vote
How to register
Register to vote (GOV.UK)
The easiest way to apply to register is online at GOV.UK: register to vote (external website). You will need your National Insurance number to hand to register.
Alternatively, you can apply by phone. You will need your National Insurance number to hand to register.
"Your vote matters; don't lose it"
To vote in elections you must:
- be at least 18 years old (you can register if you are aged 16 or over)
- be registered to vote in the area of the election
- be either a British, Irish, EU or qualifying Commonwealth citizen (see About My Vote (external website) for a full list of qualifying nationalities)
European Union (EU) citizens
EU citizens can vote in:
- local elections
- European parliamentary (EP) elections - we will write to you to invite you to register in EP elections
EU citizens cannot vote in British Parliamentary elections.
Those not eligible
You cannot vote in the UK if you are:
- a foreign national
- serving a prison sentence
- under the age of 18
Anyone who is on the register of electors in your area can object to your name being added to the register. Providing there are no objections, we will add your name at the next formal update and we will send a letter of confirmation to you.
Apply for a postal vote
You can apply for a postal vote at any time, either permanently or for a specific election. You do not need to give a reason for applying for a postal vote.
You can ask us for a form by phone, email or in person. Send your application to us by post, fax or scan the completed form and email it to us.
We usually send postal ballot papers by first class post about two weeks before polling day. Please make sure you follow the instructions that accompany the postal ballot.
How to cancel your postal vote
If you change your mind about voting by post, you can write to us or email us to cancel your postal vote. The deadline for cancelling a postal vote for a particular election is 11 working days before polling day.
Apply for a proxy vote
To request a proxy application form, please phone us.
If you are physically unable to vote in person (for example, through sickness or injury or if you are working away from home or abroad), you can appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf. This should be someone you know and trust.
You must state the reason for voting by proxy on the application form.
You can have a proxy vote for one election or an indefinite period. If you have a proxy vote for an indefinite period, we will ask you to renew your application every five years.
We will send your proxy a poll card about one week before polling day.
If you are in the British Armed Forces please phone or email us for an application form or apply to register online at GOV.UK: register to vote (external website).
If you are living abroad and have been registered with us within the last 15 years on a parliamentary register of electors, you can apply to register as an overseas elector. You will be entitled to vote in Parliamentary elections only.
We recommend that you vote by proxy if the election is less than two weeks away rather than have a postal vote sent overseas. This isn't mandatory but you may not receive your ballot paper and return it in time for it to be counted.