Registering to vote

Registering to vote

It is important you are on the electoral register so you can vote in upcoming elections and referendums. If you are not on the electoral register you will be unable to vote.

Registering to vote can be easily done online, you will need your date of birth and national insurance number and the whole process should take about 5 minutes.

To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service which is managed by the Cabinet Office.

As part of this process your data will be shared with the Department of Work and Pensions and your local Electoral Registration Office, this is covered in the register to vote privacy notice.

Who is eligible to vote?

To vote in a general or local government election you must:

  • Be registered to vote
  • Be 18 or over on the day of the election
  • Be a British, Irish, Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • Be registered at an address in the area you want to vote in
  • Not be legally excluded from voting

As long as no-one objects to your name appearing on the register of electors for the address you give, we will add you to it when we update it.

We update the register of electors on the first working day of each month.

Overseas voter

UK citizens living abroad can apply to be an overseas voter. You must have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years and be eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections and European Parliamentary elections.

If you were too young to register when you left the UK, you can still register as an overseas voter. You can do this if your parent or guardian was registered to vote in the UK, as long as you left the UK no more than 15 years ago.

Voting as a student

If you are voting as a student, you may be able to register to both your home and university addresses. 

It is a criminal offence to vote twice in a UK general election.

Even if you are registered in two areas, at home and at university, you can only vote once at a general election.

However, if your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections in both.