Registering to vote

To vote in local, national or European elections, you must be on the electoral register (sometimes called the electoral roll). This is a list of the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. If you are not on the register, you cannot vote.

You are not automatically registered to vote, even if you pay council tax, so it’s important to register.

How do I register?

You can register to vote quickly and easily online.  You will need to give your date of birth and your National Insurance (NI) number.  If you don't know your NI number, get in touch with HMRC.

Register to vote online

Each member of the household must now register individually, and provide their National Insurance number and date of birth to identify them.  

Previously, one person in each household would register all the eligible residents at that address on the annual canvas form.  Instead, now you will receive an annual 'household enquiry form' and must add anyone over the age of 16 who is resident in your home.  Anyone not already registered at that address will be sent an invitation to register to vote.

Once you have registered, you will only need to re-register if you change address. However, you should complete and return the household enquiry form, which you will receive every year.

Who can register?

You can register to vote if you are: 

  • aged 16 or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18) AND 
  • a British citizen OR 
  • an Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen who is resident in the UK

Find out which countries are eligible to vote in UK elections.

Under current legislation, marriage to a British citizen or a grant of permanent residence in the UK does not give you British citizenship, and does not give you the right to vote in UK elections.

The Electoral register and the 'open' register