The government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections.

From 4 May, voters in England will need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections. This will apply to:

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

From October 2023, it will also apply to UK general elections.

Individuals who don’t have an accepted photo ID can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

Further information about accepted forms of photo ID, how to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, and what to expect on polling day can be found below.

The Electoral Commission is aware that some groups are more likely to experience barriers with this change and may need support to access photo ID. Organisations working directly with voters, including councils and charities, are encouraged to help voters make sure they have photo ID ahead of the elections.

The Electoral Commission has produced partner packs for organisations in England, including councils, to help them raise awareness and support voters with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate. The packs also include information on voter registration.

The Electoral Commission has also produced resources to help those who are likely to need support with the new voter ID requirement.

More information: