Register to vote

You must be on the register before you can vote in an election or referendum in the UK.

There is no need to register every year to ensure that your name is on the register.

Every registered person will receive a confirmation request through the post between August and October. You must confirm that the details are correct annually to stay on the register. 

The fact that you pay Council Tax does not mean that your name appears automatically on the register.

If your name is on the register you do not have to vote.

If your name is not on the register it’s possible that you may have problems when making applications for financial services, e.g. opening a bank account, applying for a loan.

 

Who can register to vote?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 14 years old or over (you can vote in certain elections when you are 16 years old, but you must be 18 to vote in others. More informtaion)
  • an UK, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth citizen
  • a citizen of an European Union country living in the UK
  • a citizen of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory living in the UK 

How do I register?

You can register to vote and update your details on the register by visiting the gov.uk website

Information about the national changes to the way you register to vote can be found on: www.gov.uk/yourvotematters 

The electoral register

The electoral Registration Officer creates and keeps 2 versions of the register: 

  • The full register: The full register shows the names of everyone who can vote. You can check that you are on the register by calling 01766 771000. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. 
  • The open register: The register includes the names and addresses of everyone who has not asked to be excluded from that version fo the register. There is a question on the registration form asking if you want to be excluded from the register. Anyone can buy a copy of the open register, and it can be used for any purpose, e.g. commercial activities such as marketing.

    As a public authority the Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. Please refer to the full National Fraud Initiative privacy notice for more details. 

How can I check if my name is on the open register?

I’m a student – where should I register?
Students can register at both their home address and their university address. It is an offence to vote more than once in a national election but you can vote in local elections at both of your addresses, e.g. to choose a local councillor, as long as they are not in the same electoral area. 

Where should I register?

I’m a student – where should I register?

Students can register at both their home address and their university address. It is an offence to vote more than once in a national election but you can vote in local elections at both of your addresses, e.g. to choose a local councillor, as long as they are not in the same electoral area.


I’m in the Armed Forces – how do I register?
Information is available on the Aboutmyvote (Electoral Commission) website.


I’m a Crown Servant, British Council employee, member of the Armed Forces posted overseas – can I register to vote?
Crown Servants, British Council employees and members of the Armed Forces posted overseas can vote in all elections and therefore need to register. More information is available on the Aboutmyvote (Electoral Commission) website.


I’ve moved overseas to live recently. Can I still vote in the UK?
If you move overseas, you can register to vote in Parliamentary Elections and European Elections in th UK. You can live overseas for up to 15 years and keep your right to vote in the UK, but you must complete an ‘overseas’ form every year. For more information go to the Aboutmyvote (Electoral Commission) website