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Voter ID

On 28 April 2022, the Elections Act 2022 was granted Royal Assent. The Act will bring major changes to the way elections are run.

One of these changes is that, from May 2023, you will need to show photographic identification (photo ID) when you visit a polling station to cast your vote.

Bring photo ID to vote

From May 2023, voters have to show photo ID at polling stations before they are given a ballot paper.

Read more information about the Elections Act 2022

The most commonly used photographic IDs include:

  • passports issued by:
    • the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
    • a British Overseas Territory
    • an European Economic Area (EEA) state
    • a Commonwealth country
  • photographic driver's licences (including provisional) issued by:
    • the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
    • an EEA state
  • EEA photo ID cards
  • biometric residence permits
  • identity cards that bear the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS Scheme) hologram
  • Blue Badges
  • 60+ Oyster photocards
  • Concessionary travel passes funded by the government, or a local authority. Examples include:
  • older person's bus passes
  • disabled person's bus passes
  • travel cards from Wales or Northern Ireland

Only original documents are accepted. Scanned images or copies will not be accepted - however, expired documents are accepted if the photo is still a current likeness.

Read the full list of photo ID that will be accepted as voter ID

What to do when you have no photo ID

If you do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID and you would like to vote, you need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

This certificate is a free photo ID document that will allow you to vote.

You can apply for a certificate from Monday 16 January 2023.

Apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate

You may wish to complete a paper application form instead. If you would like to request a paper application form, or need help with your application, please email elections@baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk

Voters who do not produce valid photo ID or a Voter Authority Certificate will not be allowed to vote on the day.

Absent voting (postal and proxy votes)

Postal voters will not be affected and will be issued with their postal ballot papers as usual.

If you choose to vote by proxy, the person who you have trusted to vote on your behalf will have to take their own identification to be issued with a ballot paper.

Other changes to elections

The Act is bringing in other measures too, which include:

  • changes to absent voting
  • EU citizens' voting and candidacy rights
  • rights of overseas electors

Absent voting

Changes to absent voting include:

  • political parties and campaigners will be banned from handling postal votes
  • a limit to the number of postal votes one person can hand in at a polling station
  • postal voters will need to make a fresh application every three years (instead of the five yearly signature refresh)
  • electors will only be allowed to act as proxy for up to four people - of which, no more than two can be 'domestic electors' (i.e. not overseas voters)
  • there will be an option to apply for a postal vote via a new online system from the government
  • you will need to provide photo ID when you apply for an absent vote - whether it's online, or a paper application

EU citizens' voting and candidacy rights

Changes to EU citizens' voting and candidacy rights include:

  • EU citizens will no longer automatically be entitled to register, vote and stand for election
  • two groups of EU citizens will retain their rights:
    • 'qualifying EU citizens' from countries with reciprocal agreements, and who have leave, or do not need it, to remain in the UK (currently, these countries are Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain)
    • 'EU citizens with retained rights' who were residents in the UK before 1 January 2021 (i.e. before the UK left the EU)

The changes to EU citizens' voting and candidacy rights will apply to all local elections and referendums in England, and to the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections. The changes are expected to be in place for the May 2024 Mayor of London and London Assembly elections.

Rights of overseas electors

Changes to the rights of overseas electors include:

  • the 15 year limit on British citizens living abroad will be removed
  • any British citizens who were previously registered to vote in the UK or who previously lived in the UK, will be able to register as an overseas elector
  • British citizens who live abroad will have to re-register every three years

The changes are expected to be in place by May 2024.