Elections – You need photo ID!

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station in some elections. This new requirement will apply for the first time in England at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.

The new rules will apply to:

  • Local elections
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections
  • UK parliamentary by-elections
  • Recall petitions

From October 2023, the new requirements will also apply to any future UK General elections.

In Devon, there are district and city council elections on Thursday 4 May, so you will need an accepted form of photo ID if you want to vote in person. Accepted forms of photo ID include UK passport, UK driving licence, older or disabled persons bus pass, Blue Badge.

The full list of accepted forms of photo ID are on the Electoral Commission, EDDC and Government websites, or you can call their helpline on 0800 328 0280 for more information.

If you don’t have any of the accepted forms of ID, you can apply for a free ‘Voter Authority Certificate’. You will need to provide your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number and will need a passport style photo. You can apply online at:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate . If you want a paper application form, contact East Devon District Council on 01404 515 616 and ask about photo ID requirements for elections.

You can use your photo ID if it’s out of date, as long as the photo still looks like you.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

Voting by post is not affected by the new photo ID requirements. The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the local elections in May is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April and you must already be registered to vote. You can apply for your postal vote on the Electoral Commission website.