If you’re British, or a Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland citizen, you are entitled to register to vote in all elections in Britain, Citizens of European Union states are entitled to register to vote in local and European elections.
Once registered your name will then appear on the ‘electoral register’.
Why should I register?
You need to register in order to be able to vote. If you aren’t registered to vote, you will not have the chance to have a say on who represents you.
Some people also register to vote because they want to apply for credit. This is because credit reference agencies use the electoral register to confirm where someone lives when they apply for credit in order to counteract fraud.
As a student, you can register at both your term time address and at the address you live at outside of term time, but can vote only once in the general election. Remember it is an offence to vote twice.
About voter registration
You need to register in order to be able to vote in elections and referendums. The way you register to vote changed in 2014 so that now everyone is responsible for registering themselves, before it was the responsibility of the head of household.
The new system means that you can now register online. You will need to provide a few details to register – including your National Insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.
Who can register to vote?
You can register to vote online if you are aged 16 or over and one of the following:
- a British citizen
- an EU citizen resident in the UK*
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen** resident in the UK
* an EU citizen residing in the UK is entitled to register to vote in local and European elections.
** a qualifying Commonwealth citizen is someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave.
To vote in a General Election you must be 18 or over.
How do I register?
You can register to vote online or by post. Once you have registered, you will receive a letter of confirmation around the first working day of the next month.
You can register to vote online using the GOV.UK website. You will need to provide your national insurance number.
Registering to vote is quick, easy and secure. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details.
Before you begin, ensure you have your National Insurance number ready. You can find this number on any of the following documents:
- ational insurance card
- letters about benefits or tax credits
- letters about pensions
Your national insurance number and date of birth will be used to identify you and will be verified against Department of Works and Pension records, before our Electoral Registration office can approve your application.
Download, print off and complete the Register to vote application form and return it to your local electoral services
I thought I was already registered to vote?
If you have registered yourself at your current address since 10 June 2014 in England and Wales or 19 September 2014 in Scotland – and you have not moved home since – you will be registered to vote under the new system. You will also be registered to vote if you received information at your current address telling you that you are registered under the new system.
If you are unsure whether you are registered under the new system, contact your local electoral registration staff.
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