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Help available to get photo ID ahead of May Local Elections in Sandwell | Sandwell Council

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Help available to get photo ID ahead of May Local Elections in Sandwell

Published 8th March 2023

You now need photo ID to vote at a polling station

Voters in Sandwell are reminded that they need to bring photo ID for the first time when voting at a polling station in the Local Elections in May.

There’s plenty of help available for anyone in Sandwell who needs assistance to apply for their free photo ID.

Anyone who doesn’t have accepted photo ID – which includes a passport, photo driving licence, Blue Badge, some bus passes and other official types of photographic identification – can apply for some free photo ID online.

Applications for the free ID, called a Voter Authority Certificate, can be made online by submitting a photo and National Insurance Number.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online

Any Sandwell voter who needs help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate can get assistance from Sandwell Council House and any of the borough’s libraries without an appointment. Staff can assist electors in applying and will help with taking a photograph – please make sure you have your National Insurance Number.

Anyone who is unable to apply online themselves can get help in the following ways:

Special voter ID sessions are also available weekly at set times at the following Sandwell Libraries. These are suitable for individuals or small groups who need help with their application. No appointment necessary, though groups are asked to ring ahead so staff can be ready to help more than one person.


  • Glebefields Library 10am - 12pm
  • Stone Cross Library 2-4pm
  • Tipton Library 2.30-3.30pm


  • Thimblemill Library 9.30am-12.30pm
  • Hamstead Library 2-4pm


  • Bleakhouse Library 10am-12pm


  • Blackheath Library 2-4pm


  • Wednesbury Library 2-4pm
  • Great Barr Library 2-4pm


  • Central Library West Bromwich 10am - 12pm

Sandwell’s Returning Officer Shokat Lal said: “Voters who don’t have any accepted photographic ID have until 5pm on Tuesday 25 April to get their free Voter Authority Certificate to vote at a polling station in the May Local Elections.

“That means there’s just over six weeks left – so please be prepared and make sure you have the photo ID you need if you plan to vote at a polling station.

“We recognise that there are people who will need some extra assistance in applying for free photo ID, so we’re doing everything we can to make sure that help is available.”

More information about voter ID and to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

For advice on voter ID by phone, call the council’s voter ID helpline on 0121 568 6999 or the elections team on 0121 569 3244, or attend any Sandwell Library or Sandwell Council House for assistance.

Translated materials to help communities with the new voter ID requirements,