Can I register to vote?

On this page you can find information about who can register to vote at elections and referendums in the UK.

Who can register to vote?

Age

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales you can register to vote if you are 17 years old (and in some cases if you are 16). However, you can only vote when you become 18.

In Scotland you can register to vote if you are 15 years old (and in some cases if you are 14). You can vote in local elections and elections to the Scottish Parliament when you are 16 and elections to the UK and European Parliaments when you are 18.

Nationality

You qualify to register to vote if you are:

  • a British citizen
  • an EU citizen resident in the UK
  • a qualifying Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK

A qualifying Commonwealth citizen is someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave.

Here is a full list of European Union countries, Commonwealth countries, British Overseas Territories and British Crown Dependencies (PDF)

Find out more about registering to vote


Which elections can I vote in?

Age

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales you must be 18 or over on polling day to vote.

In Scotland you must be 16 or over on polling day to vote in local elections and elections to the Scottish Parliament. You must be 18 to vote in elections to the UK Parliament and European Parliament.

British, Irish, Commonwealth, British Overseas Territory and British Crown Dependency citizens

British, Irish, and qualifying Commonwealth citizens who are living in the UK can vote in all elections taking place that cover the area where they live.

Read about upcoming polls in the UK

European Union Citizens

Citizens of the European Union (who are not Citizens of the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus or Malta) living in the relevant countries, regions or areas of the UK are eligible to vote in:

Read about upcoming polls in the UK

Note: EU citizens (who are not Citizens of the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus or Malta) are not able to vote in UK Parliament elections.


Who is not eligible to vote in elections in the UK?

You are not able to vote in elections in the UK if…

  • you aren't a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • you are a convicted person detained in pursuance of your sentence, excluding contempt of court (though remand prisoners, unconvicted prisoners and civil prisoners can vote if they are on the electoral register)
  • you have been found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election