Public Access this week

Due to planned maintenance, our Public Access (Planning and Licensing) services may be unavailable from Wednesday afternoon (18 April) until Thursday morning (19 April).

Why register to vote?

If you're not on the register, you can't vote

If you are not on the electoral register, you can’t vote and won’t have a say in how the country or your local area is run. Don’t lose your right to vote.

Being on the register is also proof of your identity and is often used by credit reference agencies and mortgage companies. These companies check the register when people apply for credit, in order to counteract fraud.

So, if you're not on the register, you won't be able to have a say at future elections, you may be turned down for a mobile phone contract and you run the risk of a fine if you ignore our requests for information.

Registering is easy

Click on the green button on the right and follow the instructions.
You will need to provide your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number, which you can find on payslips, P60 or your national insurance card.

A few days after completing this online form, you will receive a letter confirming that your registration was successful or asking for more information if that is required. If you have provided your email address or phone numbers, you may be contacted that way instead.
 
If you need any help in registering to vote, use the contact details in the purple box.

Am I able to register and vote?

Any British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen should be included on the register of electors and be able to vote. This includes: 

  • Anyone who normally lives at an address
  • Long-term residents, guests or lodgers, including merchant seamen who live there when they are not at sea
  • All people aged 16 and 17
  • Anyone who will be working away from home for less than six months
  • Overseas electors

 The following people should not be included on the form: 

  • Foreign nationals - except for citizens of the Irish Republic, Commonwealth citizens and citizens of the European Union
  • People under 16 years old
  • Members of HM forces or their wives and husbands if they have made a Service Declaration
  • Crown servants and British Council staff who are working abroad or their wives and husbands if they are also living abroad with their partners

What is the electoral register?

The electoral register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. Anyone can look at it on council premises but you cannot make a photocopy of the register and you can only take handwritten notes from it.

Only certain people and organisations can have copies of the electoral register and they can only use it for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit.

The law states who can have a copy of the electoral register and what they can use it for. Broadly speaking it is only used for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit.

It is a criminal offence for them to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any other purpose other than those specified.

It is not possible to search the electoral register nationally, as the full registers are only available to view at each local electoral registration office.

Two versions of the register are now published: 

  • the electoral register and
  • the open register  

Rolling registration for monthly changes to the register started again in April. All new electors registering will be given the option of not appearing on the edited version of the register. 

What is the open register?

The open register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked for them to be excluded from that version of the register. The open register can be sold to anyone who requests it, and used for any purpose.

We may use the information we hold for the prevention and detection of fraud, which also includes for the assessment and/or collection of any tax or duty. This will include sharing of information held internally and with external organisations where the law allows.

If you don't want your details to be available on the open register, tick the opt out box when registering. 

We do not make the open register available online.
rating button