Register to vote

The way we all register to vote is called Individual Electoral Registration or IER.

Everyone is responsible for registering themselves and you will need to provide some personal details to register - including your national insurance number (if you have one) and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.  If you do not have a national insurance number you can still apply.

Who can register to vote? 

 You can register to vote in the UK if you are:

  • resident (usually live) in the UK and

  • aged 16 or over (but you will not be able to vote until you are 18)

You must also be either:

  • a British, Irish or European Union citizen or

  • a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require such leave.

How do I change my details on the electoral register? 

If you have moved address you will need to complete a new application to register to vote to update your details on the electoral register.  If you have changed your nationality, you will also need to complete a new application.  If you have changed your name, for example, through marriage or deed poll, you can either complete a new application to register to vote or email: for a 'change of name' form to complete. 

So how do I register to vote? 

  1. Go to the Gov.UK website and register online

  2. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You'll also need your national insurance number (if you have one), which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits

  3. If you don't have a national insurance number you can still apply, but may be contacted later for further documentation

  4. Look out for a confirmation letter to say you are registered

Why are there two registers?

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:

  • detecting crime (e.g. fraud)

  • calling people for jury service

  • checking credit applications

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. 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.

You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at accessing the electoral register or on the Gov.UK website.

Your personal information

We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or any other organisation unless we have to by law.


Q. If I register to vote am I registered for council tax?
The electoral and council tax records are entirely separate. The information included on each is different and they are compiled separately. When you register for council tax you are not automatically registered to vote. Find out more about council tax.

Q.  How do I find out if I am registered to vote?

A. Please contact Electoral Services: or telephone 01372 474474

Q. I live abroad, can I still register to vote?
If you are a British citizen living abroad you can register to vote in UK parliamentary elections for up to 15 years from the time you were last registered to vote in the UK. If you are working for the British government, British Council or British armed forces overseas you can register to vote in all UK elections. Contact Electoral Services.

Q. I have no fixed address, can I still register to vote?
Yes. If you are living in temporary accommodation, or are homeless, or you are in prison on remand or living at a mental health institution, you can register using a Declaration of Local Connection form. Contact Electoral Services.

Q. How do I opt out of the Open Register
Email if you want to opt out of the Open Register.

Q. Where can I get more help and information?
If you need help or guidance, please email 

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