Individual Electoral Registration
You can register to vote if you are
- 17 or over (but you cannot vote until your 18th birthday , AND
- are a British, Irish, other EU citizen or a qualifying Commonwealth citizen (ie you have leave to enter or remain in the UK or don't require leave to enter or remain in the UK) permanently living in the UK
- are an EU citizen (who is not also a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen (but can only vote at local government elections.
If you need further advice please call our Helpline on 01629 761335 (office hours)
Individuals can Register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote - Registering takes around 5 minutes. You will need your National Insurance Number.
Use this service to:
- register to vote
- update your name, address or other details on the electoral register
You can register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
The online process takes around 5 minutes and you will need to have your National Insurance Number to hand. If you prefer not to use the online service please ask us to send you a form or call us on 01629 761335 and we can register you provided that you have your national insurance number to hand.
It is important that anyone who receives an Invitation to Register either makes an online application at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or completes and returns the form promptly. New applicants will not be added to the Register until they have successfully completed the process and existing, unconfirmed electors will be removed from the Register.
If you move house you will need to re-register at your new address. You can do this on-line at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by contacting us on 01629 761335 to request a form.
You must be on the Register of Electors to be able to vote.
If you are in the armed forces, you can register at home but you may need to ask for a postal vote or appoint a proxy if you are unlikely to be in the UK when an election is called. You can also register as a service voter.
If you are a British Citizen living overseas you may be entitled to register as an overseas elector. For further information please contact the Election Helpline.
A student who has a permanent home address and a term-time address can be lawfully registered at both addresses. If an elector is registered to vote in two different electoral areas, they are eligible to vote in local elections for the two different local councils. However, it is an offence to vote twice in any one election. Such an offence could result in a fine of up to £5,000.
Unable to vote in person?
The Electoral Register and Open Register – What are they?
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (previously known as the edited register):
The electoral register
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:
- detecting crime (e.g. fraud)
- calling people for jury service
- checking credit applications
The open register
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
To opt out of the Open Register please contact us by telephone on 01629 761335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at www.gov.uk/electoral-register
Household Enquiry Form
Before the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration in June 2014 the 'head of every household' was responsible for registering everyone who lived at their address. They would do this by completing or checking, and returning, the annual canvass form that was posted to properties by local authorities every year.
The annual canvass form has been replaced by the Household Enquiry Form (HEF). This gathers information about who is resident at a particular property so that we can check that the Register is up to date. However, people who are added to a HEF will not be added to the register until they have also completed their individual registration.
If you delete someone from a HEF we are required to do further checks to verify that information. This may include sending notice of a Review of their registration to them at your address. If no response is received we can then delete the person.
Your personal information
We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.