In the UK, if you are eligible to vote you are required by law to register. Each individual has to complete the registration process themselves and provide additional information to prove their identity and their address. To find out more go to: Your Vote Matters
Register to vote
If you require additional assistance with the process of registering to vote an easy read guide has been produced to help you; please go to: step-by-step guide
Who can register to vote?
- Anyone aged 16 or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18).
- British or qualifying Commonwealth citizens. This means Commonwealth citizens who have permission to remain in the UK or do not require such permission.
- Citizens of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member states.
Using information received from the public, Electoral Services officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (formerly 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. It is used to make sure only those who are entitled to, are able to vote.
The register is updated each calendar month between January and September every year. Once you’ve received confirmation from us of the date that your name will be added to the register (for example, 1 June), your electoral status should automatically appear on your credit report within 30 days.
However, if you register between September and December during the annual canvass, your electoral details will not appear on your report until 30 days after the register is updated and published on 1 December.
If your credit report is not automatically updated, you will need to contact the credit reference company (Experian, Equifax, etc.) as they are responsible for maintaining your credit file and history.
The Open Register
The open register is an extract of the electoral register but it is not used for elections. By law, 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 remove your name and address from the open register, make sure you tick the box on the application form we sent to you. If you have been automatically moved on to the new register and are not currently 'opted out' please send an e-mail with:
- your name
- elector reference confirming your 'opt out' requirements.
Your personal information
We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and follow the Data Protection Act 2018. 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.
If you are unable to use the online registration process, it is still possible to apply by emailing us. If you have an A3 printer you can download and print a form, or you can telephone 023 8083 2245 and ask for a paper application to be sent to you. Completed forms should be returned in the reply paid envelope enclosed or via:
GOV.UK electoral register explained