Register to vote

In order to vote in local or national elections, your name needs to be included on the electoral register, which is a list of people eligible to vote.

To register you must be:

  • aged 16 or over, but you won't be able to vote until you are 18
  • a citizen of Britain, the Commonwealth, Irish Republic or a European Union member state

You can only register yourself to vote. You can’t register a family member, even if they live in the same property.

The quickest and easiest way to register to vote is via the government’s website.

You will need your:

  • National Insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • Address
Register to vote on the government website

After you've registered

You’ll get a letter from us within seven to ten days confirming that you’re registered, or asking you for more information.

The electoral register

Once you have registered to vote your name will appear on the electoral register. There are two versions of the electoral register - the full version and the open register.

The full electoral register

The full electoral register has the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote. It can’t be sold to anyone.

The full version of the register can only be used for:

  • Electoral administration purposes (such as sending out poll cards before elections or referendums)
  • Campaigning activities (for example, candidates and political parties sending election communications to voters, surveying opinions or fundraising)
  • Preventing and detecting crime
  • Checking applications for loans or credit
  • To call you for jury service

Find out more about the difference between the open register and the electoral register

The open register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register which can be bought by any person, company or organisation. The open register is used by:

  • Businesses checking the identity and address of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire, property rental and when they shop online
  • Businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol and gambling online
  • Charities and other voluntary agencies 
  • Direct marketing firms
  • Debt collection agencies to trace people who have changed their address without informing their creditors
  • Landlords and letting agents
  • Online directory firms
  • Local councils
  • Private sector firms to verify details of job applicants
  • Organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies

Changing your preferences

How can I remove my details from the open register?

You can opt out of the open register. Your details will still appear on the full version of the electoral register.

If you’re already registered to vote you remove your details from the open register by: