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Sandwell residents need photo ID to vote at elections in May | Sandwell Council

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Sandwell residents need photo ID to vote at elections in May

Published 18th January 2023

For the first time, residents in Sandwell will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections.

Voter ID - you will need photo ID to vote at a polling station

Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID.

Accepted forms of ID include:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence (including provisional license)
  • Blue badge
  • Certain concessionary travel cards
  • Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • Biometric Immigration document
  • Defence identity card
  • Certain national identity cards

Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free photo ID online or by completing a paper form.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online

The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, said: “Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.”

Kim Bromley-Derry, Electoral Registration Officer for Sandwell Council, said: “With elections taking place in Sandwell on Thursday 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote at a polling station make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.

“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID online through the Government website.

“Anyone who isn’t online can get help to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate at Sandwell Council House in Oldbury or by asking for help at one of our libraries.

“For information about the 2023 elections in Sandwell and Voter ID, go to the Sandwell Council Elections 2023 webpage.

"You can also contact our Voter ID helpline on 0121 569 6999 or the electoral services team on 0121 569 3244 if you need further help.”

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online. Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May. 

More information about the elections in Sandwell and Voter ID, and other ways to vote.

Frequently asked questions and how to apply by post if you can't apply online.