Registering to vote

 

  • Do I register once or every year?

    You should register between October and March when your local Electoral Registration Office delivers a registration form to your home. This is known as the 'annual canvass'. You can register at other times of the year completing a registration form.

    For further information, you should contact your local electoral registration office. You can find the contact details for your local electoral registration office in the ‘Your local area' panel – just enter your postcode for the correct office. 

  • Will my details be given to other organisations?

    There are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the edited version. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used by other organisations for commercial activities such as marketing.

    Your name and address will appear on the full register which is available for inspection, under supervision, at your local council's offices. You can choose on your registration form whether or not to appear on the edited register.

  • What is the Electoral Register?

    The electoral register is a list of the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. Each local electoral registration office maintains the electoral register for its own area. There are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the edited version. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing.

    Your name and address will appear on the full register but you can choose on your registration form whether to appear on the edited register.

  • Am I registered to vote?

    Your local electoral registration office can tell you. NB: The Electoral Commission can not tell you if you are registered to vote, you must contact your local electoral registration office. You can find the contact details for your local electoral registration office in the ‘Your local area’ panel – just enter your postcode for the correct office.

    If you filled in the annual canvass registration form that came through your door between October and March you should be registered.

    If you move house or change your name then you should register again. The electoral register is updated monthly.

  • How do I register to vote?

    Between October and March, you should receive an annual canvass of electors form. Simply ensure that all of the names of eligible people residing at your address are included on the form and cross out anyone who should not be included. For further information, you should contact your local electoral registration office. You can find the contact details for your local electoral registration office in the ‘Your local area' panel – just enter your postcode for the correct office.

    Registration for young people for the Scottish Independence Referendum is slightly different - click here for more information.

    The electoral register is updated monthly. If you move house or change your name then you should register again. Registration forms are available from this website.

  • Can I register to vote over the phone?

    No, but you can call your local electoral registration office to ask them to send you a registration form. You can find the contact details for your local electoral registration office in the ‘Your local area' panel – just enter your postcode for the correct office.

    Some electoral registration offices will allow you to renew your registration details over the phone during the annual canvass, provided that your details have not changed. The necessary information should be included with your canvass form but you can contact your local electoral registration office to ask about this service.

  • Do I have to go somewhere to register to vote?

    No. You just need to complete an electoral registration form and return it to your local electoral registration office.

  • Why do I need to register?

    You need to be on the electoral register to vote in all UK elections and referendums. You are not automatically registered even if you pay council tax. If you receive a request for your registration information from your local electoral registration office then you are legally obliged to respond. If you do not respond, or if you provide false information, then you could receive a £1,000 fine.

    Not being registered may also affect your credit rating.

  • Who can register to vote?

    You can register to vote if you are:

    • 17 or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18)
    • A UK, Republic of Ireland or qualifying Commonwealth citizen.  Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not require such leave.
    • A citizen of a European Union country living in the UK
      A citizen of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory living in the UK

     

  • I'm a student and I'm not sure where I should register to vote?

    Students may be entitled to register at both their home address and their university address, but can only vote once to the same elected chamber or position. For example, you may be registered in two different London Boroughs. You can vote once in each borough election as they are elections to two separate town halls, but at the London Mayor and assembly election you can only vote once as it is elections for the same body or post.

    The final decision on a registration rests with the electoral registration officer with whom you are trying to register. You should contact your local electoral registration office for further information. You can find the contact details for your local electoral registration office in the ‘Your local area' panel – just enter your postcode for the correct office.

  • I am 17, can I register to vote?

    Yes. You can register to vote, but you are not allowed to vote until you are 18. If your 18th birthday is just before an election it is a good idea to register now so that you are able to vote on Election Day.

  • When can I register to vote?

    Most people register every year when the electoral registration office delivers a registration form to your home. This is known as the 'annual canvass'. This year, this will take place between October and March.

    However, you can also register throughout the year as the register is updated every month. This is useful if you move home and need to register at your new address.

  • What do I do if I move home?

    If you have filled in and returned an annual canvass registration form since you moved to your new home, you do not need to register again. If you have not, you need to download a registration form and return it to your local electoral registration office.

    If you move after you have completed the annual canvass form then you can send one of our registration forms to your local electoral registration office who will amend their records accordingly.

  • How can I contact my local electoral registration office?

    You can find the contact details for your local electoral registration office in the ‘Your local area’ panel – just enter your postcode to obtain the correct address for your local office.

  • Will my details appear on the register?

    The only details that appear on the register are name, address and a marker that determines which elections you can vote in. If you are under 18, the date of your 18th birthday will also be shown.

  • Why can't I get credit?

    If you have been denied credit because your bank or credit reference agency are unable to verify your details on the electoral register, this is because the electoral register is often used for credit referencing purposes to counteract fraud. In this case, you need to contact your local electoral registration office for confirmation that you are registered. They will be able to supply you with a letter confirming your details on the electoral register, possibly at a charge. Sometimes the records maintained by credit reference agencies are incorrect – they should be able to supply you with a copy of your record so that you can check the details.

    If you have already provided confirmation that you are registered to your bank or credit reference agency, then any further problems will have to be taken up with them, not with your local electoral registration office.
    If you are not registered to vote, you can download and complete an electoral registration form from this website.

  • Will my details be used for anything apart from elections?

    There are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the edited version. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing.

    Your name and address will appear on the full register but you can choose on your registration form whether to appear on the edited register.

  • I am moving house but there isn’t a form for this

    You can use our standard voter registration form. You need to complete the form and return it to your new local electoral office.

    Remember to include your previous address on the form so that your details can be removed from that electoral register.

  • Can I be registered to vote at two different addresses?

    You can be registered to vote at two different addresses if you are resident at both addresses and spend an equal amount of time at each.

    For example, students can be registered at their home and term time addresses. The final decision will however, rest with the electoral registration officer wherever you are trying to register.

    It is an offence to vote twice in the same election for example, a parliamentary general election; however, you can vote in elections at two separate local councils.

  • I have recently changed my name but there isn’t a form for this

    You can use contact your electoral registration officer to let them know your new name.

  • I have leave to remain in the UK but I'm not a British citizen, can I register to vote?

    Electoral registration is linked to citizenship and British, Irish, EU and qualifying Commonwealth citizens are eligible to register to vote. If you are not a citizen of any of the above you are not be eligible to register to vote. For more information on voting at elections see the What can I vote for? page.

  • Can Crown Servants, British Council employees and members of the Armed Forces who are posted overseas vote?

    Crown Servants (such as British Embassy workers), British Council employees and members of the Armed Forces who are posted overseas can vote in all elections. You need to download a registration form (select the appropriate one) and send it to the local electoral registration office for the address where you would be living if you were not posted overseas. You can then choose to vote by post or by proxy (someone voting on your behalf). Postal votes are only sent out a week before election. You will need to consider whether this gives you enough time to complete and return your form in time. It may be better to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.

  • I need to remove my details from the electoral register but there isn’t a form for this

    In order to remove details from the electoral register you will need to contact the Electoral Registration Officer for the registered address. You can find the contact details by entering the postcode into the Your local area section on the homepage.

  • I have returned my form, how long would it take for my details to appear on the register?

    The electoral register is updated each month. You need to contact the electoral registration officer in your area to find out exactly when your details will be added. You can find the contact details by entering your postcode into the Your local area section on the homepage.

  • Can I find a lost friend or relative on the electoral register?

    Finding a lost friend or relative on the electoral register could be difficult because electoral registration is performed by the local electoral registration office for each area and there is no official centralised electoral register that can be searched.

    If you want to look at the register to try to find a lost friend or relative, there are two versions of the electoral register that you can look at – the full version and the edited version. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing. It is possible to search the edited register using online commercial organisations, but it is not possible to search the full register in this way, as the full registers are only available to view in hard copy at each local electoral registration office.

  • I am concerned about my name appearing on the register; can I register anonymously?

    The Electoral Administration Act 2006 introduces the ability to register anonymously. Anyone who does not wish for their name to appear on the register can apply to their Electoral Registration Officer to be registered anonymously, although good reason would have to be provided for this. Applicants would need documentary evidence of a Court Order or attestation from certain persons to support their application.

    If you are registered anonymously, instead of your name and address appearing on the electoral register a code will be added to the end of the section of the register for your polling district. Instead of including you on the annual canvass form, the Electoral Registration Officer will contact you separately and in such a way as to not reveal that you are registered anonymously. You should receive polling cards as usual.

    Anyone who has concerns about their name appearing on the electoral register should contact their local electoral registration office for further information.

  • Will my personal details appear on the electoral register?

    The only details that appear on the register are name, address and a marker that determines which elections you can vote in. If you are under 18, the date of your 18th birthday will also be shown.

  • Can I search the electoral register online?

    Electoral registration is performed locally by the local electoral registration office for each area and there is no official centralised electoral register that can be searched online.

    However, there are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the edited version. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing.

    It is possible to search the edited register using online commercial organisations, but it is not possible to search the full register in this way, as the full registers are only available to view at each local electoral registration office.

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Electoral information

European Parliamentary Elections 2014

The 2014 European Parliamentary elections will take place on 22 May 2014.

Don't miss out - ensure you're registered to vote by completing the voter registration form on this website.

Local Council Elections 2014

The 2014 local council elections will take place on 22 May 2014.

Your Electoral Registration Office

City of London
Electoral Registration Officer
PO Box 270
Guildhall
London
EC2P 2EJ
0800 587 5537
Email City of London