Advice for Southampton residents ahead of May elections

Southampton City Council is urging residents to make sure they are ready to vote on Thursday 4 May 2023 by checking they have an accepted form of ID

Polling station sign on a bench

A new government requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station will apply for the first time at upcoming local elections in Southampton.

Accepted forms of ID include:

  • 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

Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.  

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. Residents also have the option to vote by post or proxy, without needing photo ID.

Please note the following application deadlines:

  • Voter Authority Certificate: 25 April 2023 at 5pm
  • Postal vote: 18 April 2023 at 5pm
  • Proxy vote: 25 April 2023 at 5pm

Mark Heath, Returning Officer, Southampton City Council, said: “With elections taking place in Southampton on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May. Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to us by the deadline. If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, or think you’ll need support accessing a polling station on election day, please contact the electoral services team.” 

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online. Voters wishing to apply for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.  

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station is part of the government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May. Southampton City Council is responsible for implementing voter ID at the local level.