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Chronicle Live
Elly Rewcastle

Voters need photo ID to cast their ballot - what kind of documents count and what if you don’t have ID

Voters will be required to show photographic ID at the polling station in upcoming elections across the UK. The Government changed the requirements so that from May 2023, anyone who wishes to cast a vote in person must also show photo identification.

However, for many people, this will cause a problem as they may not have ID. There are 21 different forms of ID on the list of acceptable documents, including driving licences, passports and PASS cards.

Despite this, according to research for The Cabinet Office carried out in 2021, 9% of people do not hold a form of photo ID that is both in-date and recognisable. As a result, the Electoral Commission has introduced a voter authority certificate so that those without photo ID will still have the opportunity to cast their ballot.

Read more: NHS nurses on strike could double next month warn union leaders

What ID can I use to vote in the UK?

International travel

  • Passport issued by the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country

Driving and parking

  • Driving licence, full or provisional, issued by the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or EEA state

  • A blue badge

Local travel

  • Older person’s bus pass

  • Disabled person’s bus pass

  • Oyster 60+ card

  • Freedom Pass

  • Scottish National Entitlement Card

  • 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card

  • Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card

  • Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

  • Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

  • War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

  • 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

  • Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

Proof of Age

  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) hologram

Other government-issued documents

  • Biometric immigration document

  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)

  • National identity card issued by an EEA state

  • Electorial Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland

  • Anonymous Elector’s Document

  • Voter Authority Certificate

How can I get a voter authority certificate?

The free voter ID, a voter authority certificate, is available to anyone who does not have an accepted form of photo ID or who no longer looks like the photo on their ID.

The certificate is free to anyone who applies and all that is required is a recently taken digital photograph and your National Insurance number. If you do not have a National Insurance number, you’ll need to provide other documents that prove your identity, for example, a birth certificate, bank statement or utility bill.

You can apply for a voter authority certificate online. Postal applications are also available, though different forms are available if you live abroad, and when complete, these can be sent to the Electoral Commission.

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