Deadline to apply for voter ID

Thu,30 March 2023
News Equality & Rights
The law has changed, meaning you must now bring a valid form of ID with you to vote. More information on what is a valid form of ID can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website.

If you don’t have a valid form of ID, you can register for a free voter ID. The deadline to register to vote for the upcoming local elections is 11:59pm on Monday 17 April. The deadline to apply for free voter ID is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.

You must be registered to vote before you can apply for voter ID.

This new requirement will apply for the first time at the local elections taking place in some areas of England on Thursday 4 May 2023. The requirement will apply to UK Parliament general elections from October 2023, and to UK Parliament by-elections and recall petitions from May 2023.

It will not apply at Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senedd, or council elections taking place in Scotland or Wales.

Disability Rights UK, alongside other organisations, campaigned against this introduction for fears it would introduce an additional barrier to voting, which can already be an inaccessible activity for many. For those with an intersectional experience, e.g. Disabled trans people, or Disabled people experiencing domestic abuse, many already face barriers to accessing valid identification.

The Electoral Commission have produced a range of resources to tell you everything you need to know about the introduction of voter ID. These resources are also available in accessible formats, and can be found on their website.

The Elections Act 2022, which introduced voter ID, also removed the formal list of accessible equipment that was previously a legal requirement for all polling stations to have on-site. However, the Equality Act still protects your right to reasonable adjustments, and places legal obligations on local authorities to make voting accessible for all. The Human Rights Act also protects our right to free and fair elections – this includes the right to vote in secret.

You can call your local council before the election if you want peace of mind that your polling station is prepared for your reasonable adjustments on the day.

If you face barriers to voting accessibly on election day, you can complain to your local authority and the electoral commission. Our Right to Participate website includes resources on how to write complaints when public services fail to meet their legal obligations.