Text: You now need photo ID to vote at a polling station

Published: Tuesday, 21st March 2023

You now need photo ID to vote at a polling station. No ID? You can apply for free voter ID

Applications are now open for a new form of free ID that can be used at elections.  

Ahead of a new voter ID requirement, the UK Government has opened the online portal for the ID, known as the Voter Authority Certificate, for voters that do not already have an accepted form of photo ID.  

To apply for a voter authority certificate, you can either:

You can email the elections team at elect@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or call them on 020 8921 5882.

Those that have an accepted form of ID already do not need to apply.  

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA photo drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.  

The next scheduled elections taking place in the Royal Borough of Greenwich will be the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections on 2 May 2024, voters will need to show ID at the polling station to receive a ballot paper.   

Applicants to the Government's online portal must be registered to vote, and will need to provide their date of birth, National Insurance number, and a photograph with their application. You can use most mobile phone cameras for the photo. 

Debbie Warren, Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “Don’t risk losing your voice in next year’s Mayoral Elections on 2 May. If you don’t have a valid form of voter identification you won’t be able to vote - even if you are already registered. It is easy to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate so why not do it now.”  

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration at the Electoral Commission, said: “The availability of free ID is important to maintaining the accessibility of elections. We are calling on all voters to check whether they have an accepted form of ID and, if not, to apply for the certificate.  

“We know from research that the vast majority of people already have the ID they need. Those voters only need to remember to bring it with them on polling day. However, anyone who doesn’t currently have an accepted form of ID can now apply for free voter ID.”  

Anyone who wants to have their say in the Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections on 2 May 2024 must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.  

Find out more

or call 0800 328 0280