Voters must show photo ID when voting at a polling station.

Watch the video and read on to find out which types of ID will be accepted and how to apply for free photo ID if you don't have any.

Which forms of ID can I use to vote?

You can use any of the following:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • A photo driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
  • A Blue Badge
  • Older Person’s Bus Pass*
  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass*
  • Freedom Pass
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Some other documents detailed on the Electoral Commission website

For more information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted, visit The Electoral Commission website or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

*Please check carefully if your bus pass is acceptable before using it as photo ID by visiting the Electoral Commission website. A young person's bus pass is not considered accepted photo ID.

If you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID

If you don’t have photographic ID, you can apply for free photo ID called a Voter Authority Certificate. 

If you already have a Voter Authority Certificate, you can use that. You don’t need to apply for a new one as long as the photo still looks like you.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

The deadline for applying for a Voter Authority Certificate to use as photographic ID to vote in the General Election on Thursday 4 July is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June.

Please note - if you are applying online you must upload a digital photo of yourself. Please do not take a photo of a photograph. Take a photo of yourself against a plain background, facing forward with your eyes open.

Contact the council online about Voter ID

Find out more about Voter ID

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, below are our answers to frequently answered questions about Voter ID.

You can also go to the Electoral Commission website, or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

Why do I need to show photo ID to vote at a polling station?

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station.

What photo ID can I use at a polling station?

You can use any of the following:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • A photo driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
  • A Blue Badge
  • Older Person’s Bus Pass
  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
  • Freedom Pass
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Some other documents detailed on the Electoral Commission website.

I have a passport or photo driving licence but it’s out of date, can I use that?

You can still use your photo ID if it's out of date, as long as it looks like you. The name on your ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.

The name on my ID is different to the one I am registered to vote with – can I still use it?

You can still use the photo ID but you will also need to provide further evidence of the change of name such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate, deed poll or decree absolute.

Can I take a photocopy or a photograph of my ID to the polling station?

No, the original document must be taken. A photocopy or an image of your ID will not be accepted.

What will happen if I go to the polling station without my photo ID? Will I still be able to vote?

If you do not take photo ID (or a Voter Authority Certificate) with you to the polling station, then you will not be able to vote. Even if the staff in the polling station know you, they cannot issue a ballot paper unless correct photo ID is shown to them. You can return later in the day with your photo ID to be able to vote. Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm.

Is a young person's bus pass an accepted form of photo ID?

A young person's travel card or bus pass is not an accepted form of photographic ID. For a full list of the accepted types of photo ID, go to the Electoral Commission website.

What do I do if I don’t have any photographic ID?

Think carefully about if you have any photographic ID that may be accepted - including an accepted form of photographic ID that may no longer be valid (as long as it looks like you it can be used in a polling station).

I need help to apply for photographic ID - what do I do?

You can go to Sandwell Council House in Oldbury or any Sandwell library and staff will help you to apply.

You can also contact the council's Electoral Services team online if you have questions about Voter ID or call the Voter ID helpline on 0121 569 6999.

Contact the council online about Voter ID

I have lost the form of photographic ID I intended to use to vote at a polling station

If the photo ID you intended to use becomes unavailable (for example, it was lost, damaged or stolen) and you do not have a different form of accepted photo ID you can use, you can apply for an emergency proxy.

Proxy voting means that someone you trust votes at your polling station on your behalf. They will need to show their own accepted photographic ID to vote on your behalf.

By applying for an emergency proxy, you will be required to sign a declaration stating the photo ID you intended to use to vote is no longer available and you must declare that you do not have access to another form of accepted photographic ID.

Do I need ID to vote by post?

Electors voting by post are not affected by the requirement for photographic ID.

I’m not registered to vote, what do I do?

You can register to vote in future elections online. If you've moved house since you last voted, you must register at your new address.
You will need your National Insurance number and your date of birth -  it only takes five minutes. If you've registered to vote in the past and you've received a polling card, you don't need to register again unless you have moved house or changed your name.

I have not received my Voter Authority Certificate in the post, can I apply for another one?

If you have successfully applied for a Voter Authority Certificate but have not received it, you may request a reprint within a month of the application being made.
If it is longer than a month since you first applied, and you do not have a different form of accepted photo ID you can use, you can apply for an emergency proxy.

I am registered for a postal vote, is this way of voting changing?

You do not need photographic ID if you have a postal vote. If you are registered to vote by post, you will receive your ballot paper pack and vote in the same way.
There are changes to how many postal votes can be handed in at a polling station if you do not return your postal vote pack by Royal Mail. Find out more about changes to handing in postal votes.

I have applied for an emergency proxy do I still need to show photo ID?

If you have appointed someone to vote on your behalf at the polling station, the person going to the polling station on your behalf will need to show their own photo ID to vote.

Can I use my Voter Authority Certificate as ID elsewhere?

You cannot use the Voter Authority Certificate as proof of identity for any other purpose than for voting. 
It does not contain any other information (such as a date of birth or address) that would be found on many other forms of ID.

How long are Voter Authority Certificates valid for?

The Voter Authority Certificate does not have a specified validity period, but they have a recommended renewal date of 10 years from the date of issue.

Can Voter Authority Certificates be used in any polling station?

You can use a Voter Authority Certificate at any election which requires photographic ID to be shown in the polling station, in any local authority, including in elections that are not held within the local authority area in which the Voter Authority Certificate is issued.

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