The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to produce accepted photographic identification when voting in person at a polling station. This new requirement will apply for the first time in England from the 4th May 2023 to coincide with local elections taking place in some areas. Your photo ID proves that you are who you say you are when voting, and prevents someone else from taking your vote.
Whilst there are currently no scheduled elections taking place this year in the West Northamptonshire electoral area, it important that residents are aware of these new requirements as they will be in force for any future local elections, by elections or referendums that take. From October 2023, the Voter ID requirement will be in place for UK Parliamentary General Elections. By elections and General Elections can occur at any time and with short notice.
Acceptable forms of Photo ID
You may already hold an accepted form of photo ID. You can use expired photo ID, as long as the image within the ID remains a good likeness to you. You only need to bring one of the documents to the polling station to vote in person, but it must be the original document.
You can use:
- Passport (UK, EU/EEA, Commonwealth issued)
- Driving licence (including provisional licences) (UK, EU/EEA issued)
- Blue Badge
- Certain older/disabled people concessionary travel cards
- Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
- Biometric Immigration document
- Defence identity card
- Certain national identity cards
For more information and the full detailed list of acceptable voter ID, please visit the Electoral Commissions or call the helpline on 0800 328 0280. The full list is also available at the bottom of this webpage.
Apply for the free Voter Authority Certificate
If you don’t hold an accepted form of photo ID, or you think that your photo ID no longer resembles you, you can apply for a free Voter ID document known as the Voter Authority Certificate. You must be a registered voter to be issued with a certificate, and you can apply for the certificate at the same time as registering.
To apply, you will be asked to provide your full legal name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number. You will also need to provide a recent passport style photo of yourself. This can be taken on a digital camera or camera phone. If you need help in taking your photo or completing your application, please use the apply in person option below.
Visit the UK Governments website to complete an application form online and upload your photo directly to your application.
Apply by post
You can download an application form and return this in the post to the address below. Applications are available online from Gov.UK. Alternatively, please use our contact details below to request a paper application form that we can send to your home address.
Apply in person
If you need help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, we can arrange an appointment for you to attend one of our council office locations. A member of the team will assist you in completing the application and in taking your photo. For an appointment, please call 0300 126 7000.
I vote by post
If you vote by post, you do not need to provide voter ID. If you would prefer to vote by post at future elections, please contact us and we will send you a postal vote application form for you to complete.
I have changed my name
The name on your photo ID document should match with the name stated in the electoral register. If you attend the polling station with photo ID that states a different name, you will be asked to provide an additional document that gives proof to the name change. For example, a marriage/civil partnership certificate, change of name deed, deed poll.
You should also contact us so that we can amend and update the register to the correct name.
All completed paper applications can be sent to our postal address. We also accepted scanned copies to our email address.
West Northamptonshire Council
Last updated 25 April 2023