Voting Is Changing In The UK by Marie

Hello all,


Today’s post is a bit more of an informative one regarding the need to have a form of photo identification in the UK to vote,  This will apply to some elections, including the 4TH May 2023 local elections. 


Until this year, providing you had your voting card, you turned up to your polling station and voted. But in upcoming elections, having a valid form of photo ID will mean the difference between voting and not participating.


First, lets address the main different ways you can exercise your democratic right to vote.


In Person Voting 


This is the common way for people to vote. If you’re voting for the first time, or have moved address, ensure you register to vote


Once that is done, a few weeks before the election you will be voting in, you will receive a polling card through the post. You take this card to your local polling station and along with an eligible voter ID or Voting Certificate, you receive your ballot paper and vote. 


If you’re visually impaired, you can ask for a template guide, or you can use mobile phones to magnify or use text to speech to read the paper. It’s likely you’ll need some support. How you do this, is your choice. Some don’t find the template as useful and opt to have a friend/family member/polling staff member to pop the X in the box for them. 


Proxy Voting 


The other option is to have someone proxy vote on your behalf. This means someone you trust goes to the polling station on your behalf and casts your vote. They will need their own voter ID and have to be eligible to vote in that election to cast your vote for you. It’s very important that you apply for a proxy vote beforehand. 


All the information you need on proxy voting and how to apply can be found here.


Postal Vote


Finally, the last option is to vote via postal vote. This is a way someone can vote in advance at home, and for those with additional needs gives them the ability to vote in private, without worrying about getting to their polling station. This is the only way of voting that can be done without a some form of photo ID.

Elections You Will Need Voter ID


At the writing of this blog, the following elections will require voter ID.

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


From October 2023, this will also apply to national general elections. 


Eligible Photo ID


Now we’ve explained which ways to vote need photo Id, it’s necessary to know what forms of ID can be used.



Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country


Driving and Parking 

Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)

A Blue Badge


Local Travel 

Older Person’s Bus Pass

Disabled Person’s Bus Pass

Oyster 60+ Card

Freedom Pass

Scottish National Entitlement Card

60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card

Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card

Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

Proof of age


Proof of Age

Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)


Other Government issued documents 

Biometric immigration document

Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)

National identity card issued by an EEA state

 Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland

Voter Authority certificate 

Anonymous Elector’s Document


Only one form of photo ID is needed, but it has to be the original and not a photocopy or on picture on a phone.


If you do not have one of the above, you can apply for a Voter Certificate. There are some other reasons you may want to apply for a voting certificate.


  • you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID
  • you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you
  • you’re worried about using an existing form of ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker.


If you need to apply for a voter certificate, find out more and start your application here!


Remember, you must be registered to votefirst. 


I hope this has cleared up any worries and happy voting.



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