The way you vote is changing

Voter ID

The UK Government has introduced a new requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station. This will apply for the first time in Southampton at the City Council elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.

Which forms of ID can I use to vote?

You may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable. You can use any of the following:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence (including provisional licence)
  • Blue badge
  • Certain concessionary travel cards
  • Identity card with Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) mark
  • Biometric Immigration document
  • Defence identity card
  • Certain national identity cards

Expired photo ID can still be used as long as the photo is still a good likeness of you.

More information on which forms of photo ID are acceptable can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website. Alternatively, you can call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

Translated information from the Electoral Commission on the introduction of voter ID is available in the following languages:

The booklet translated into Bengali (বাংল) will be published shortly.

If you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID

If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or your ID no longer looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. You can apply for this online at Apply for photo ID to vote (called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’).

An easy read, step-by-step guide to applying for a Voter Authority Certificate is available on the GOV.UK website.

Alternatively, you can download and complete a paper application Voter Authority Certificate application form. You can also request a copy of the form by post from us:

Telephone: 023 8083 2245.


The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate to vote in the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023 is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.

Other ways of voting

Voting by post

Whilst you don’t need to provide photo ID to vote by post, you do need to fill in and sign an application form. You can do this now – this will ensure your application is processed early and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly once the candidates for the election are confirmed.

For more information visit voting by post.

Voting by proxy

You can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you - the person voting on your behalf is referred to as your proxy. If the person you choose to vote on your behalf decides to go to your polling station, they will need to show their own photo ID to be able to cast your vote.

For more information visit voting by proxy.

Find out more

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, go to the Electoral Commission’s website, or call the Electoral Commission’s helpline on 0800 328 0280.