Member of the Armed Forces (or husband, wife, civil partner)
You need to register in order to vote in any UK elections or
referendums. You can use this site to look at some of our top reasons why its important to register to
vote. You can also look at how you can
vote, and what you can vote for.
Registering to vote at the Scottish independence
Members of the Armed Forces, or their spouse or civil partner
who are a British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or EU citizen can
register to vote ahead of the Scottish Independence Referendum
taking place on 18 September 2014 as either as an ordinary voter or
a service voter.
The way they choose to register to vote will depend on their
personal circumstances. In order to register as an ordinary voter
the service person would need to be resident at an address in
The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday 2 September
Those who choose to make a service declaration and register as
service voters are able to register for up to five years at a fixed
address in Scotland even if they are based outside of Scotland or
think that they may be posted outside of Scotland in the next
A person may only register in Scotland as a
service voter if:
• They are resident at an address in
• Would have been resident at an address in
Scotland if they or their spouse or civil partner were not posted
• They are a young person who will be 16 or 17
on the day of the referendum and they are living with their parent
or guardian who is (or is entitled to be) a service voter. This
registration is only valid for the referendum.
In some cases, a service person may be able to
establish residency at more than one address in the United Kingdom.
This situation could arise, for example, if they are stationed and
residing in barracks in England, Wales or Northern Ireland but have
their permanent family home in Scotland. In these circumstances
they could choose to give their address in Scotland on their
declaration. However, this choice arises only if someone can
establish residency at a second address.
For more information on the Scottish
Independence Referendum, visit our page here.
Registering to vote in the UK
You need to be registered to vote in order to have your say at
any UK elections or referendums.
What are my registration options?
If you’re a member of the Armed Forces, or the
husband, wife or civil partner of someone in the Armed Forces, you
can register to vote either as a Service Voter or as an ordinary
voter. The way you choose to register to vote is up to you and will
depend on your personal circumstances.
• If you’re based overseas, or expect to be
posted abroad in the next year, it makes sense to register as a
Service Voter. This allows you to be registered at
a fixed address in the UK even if you move around. A Service Voter
registration also lasts for five years, so once you’re registered,
you shouldn’t have to worry about it while you’re busy
• If you’re based in the UK and are unlikely
to change address or be posted overseas in the next year, you can
register as an ordinary voter. This is the type of
registration where you’ll receive a household enquiry
form through the post at your address once a year between
mid-August and November. You need to return this with the details
of everyone who is 16 or over who is resident and eligible to
register to vote.
How do I register to
If you are registering to vote in
England or Wales, you can now do this online.
To register as an ordinary voter go to gov.uk/register-to-vote.
To register as an Armed Forces voter go to gov.uk/register-to-vote-armed-forces.
If you are registering to vote in Scotland you
will need to complete a form and return it to the electoral
registration officer of the UK address where you are registering.
You can register as an
ordinary voter or as an Armed Forces
How can I vote? What if I’m abroad on
As you probably know, most people vote in
person by going to a polling station in the UK. But don’t worry if
you’re abroad at the time of the election or have another reason
why you won’t be able to vote in person on the day - you can apply
to vote by post or by proxy (someone voting on your behalf). Have a
look at our How to vote pages for more information.
If you’re based abroad, you need to be aware
that, due to election timetables, you may not receive your ballot
paper until shortly before election day. Depending on where you’re
based, there may not be enough time for you to return your ballot
before voting closes (10pm on election day), so voting by post may
not be the best way for you to vote. In these circumstances we
would encourage you to appoint a proxy in the UK to vote on your
behalf. Proxies can themselves apply to vote for you by post, if
this is easiest for them. You can find more information on postal
and proxy voting here.
Want further information on registration or
voting? Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.
Want further information on registration or voting? Have a look at our Frequently Asked