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Voter ID

Elections Act 2022

Changes to the way we vote for certain elections and what you need to know

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station for some elections.

A new law called the Elections Act will affect elections from May 2023, for:

  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections
  • UK parliamentary by-elections
  • Recall petitions
  • From October 2023 it will also apply to UK General elections.

This does not affect Senedd, local council elections and Town/Community elections in Wales as these elections are the responsibility of Welsh Government.

Accepted forms of photo ID

Many people will already have an acceptable form of photo ID. A full list of the different types of acceptable photo ID, are available on the Electoral Commission's website.  

Out of date photo ID

You can still use your photo ID if it's out of date, as long as it looks like you. The name on your ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.

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

You can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if:

  • you don't have an accepted form of photo ID
  • you're not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you
  • you're worried about using an existing form of ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker

You need to register to vote before applying for a Voter Authority Certificate.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request a paper application form, please call 01597 826202.

If you've changed your name

The name on your ID must match your name on the electoral register. If it does not, you'll need to either:

  • register to vote again with your new details
  • take a document with you in addition to your photo ID that proves you've changed your name (for example, a marriage certificate) to the polling station.

Small differences do not matter. For example, if your ID says 'Jim Smith' instead of 'James Smith'.

Showing ID as an anonymous elector

If you're registered to vote anonymously and want to vote in person, you'll need to apply for an Anonymous Elector Document.

Find out more about registering to vote anonymously and how to vote anonymously

Voting by proxy

You'll need to take your own ID when you go to vote on someone else's behalf. You do not need to take theirs.

Voting by post

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