Voter ID Requirements

What's changed?

Changes by the UK Government to the UK electoral system through The Elections Act, mean you will need to show an accepted form of photographic identification to vote at a polling station in the local elections on Thursday 4th May 2023.

Accepted forms of photo ID for voting at a polling station

You need to show one form of photographic ID to staff at the polling station on election day.

You can use any of the following:

  • a passport

  • a driving licence - including provisional license

  • a Blue Badge

  • an older person’s bus pass (it must state it is funded by the government - local travel passes cannot be used)

  • a disabled person’s buss pass

  • an identity card with Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) mark 

  • a biometric immigration document

  • a defence identity card

  • certain national identity cards

You can find the full list of accepted forms of photo ID here.

Voter Authority Certificate

If you do not have photo ID from the accepted list above and have applied for a Voter Authority Certificate, you will be able to bring this with you as proof of ID at your local polling station.

The deadline for applications for Voter Authority Certificates closes at 5pm on June 26th, 2024

Acceptable forms of photographic ID


  • a UK passport
  • a passport issued by an EEA state or Commonwealth country

Please note that expired documents will be accepted providing that the photograph is still a good likeness of you

Driving Licence

  • a licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under 15(i) Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, or (ii) the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (SI 1981/154 (N.I. 1))
  • a driving licence issued by any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state

Please note that expired documents will be accepted providing that the photograph is still a good likeness of you

Immigration document

A biometric immigration document issued in accordance with regulations under section 5 of the UK Borders Act 2007.

Pass Card

These include:

  • CitizenCard
  • My ID Card
  • Milton Keynes all in 1 MK Card
  • NUS Totum ID Card
  • Validate UK Card
  • Young Scot Card
  • One ID 4 U Card

Concessionary travel passes

This list has been updated since the introduction of the Elections Bill. It exhaustively sets out all concessionary travel cards that will be accepted, to avoid any confusion amongst electors.

These include:

  • older persons' bus pass (UK Government)
  • disabled persons' bus pass
  • Oyster 60+ card
  • Freedom Pass
  • National Entitlement Card (Scottish Government)
  • 60 and over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card (Welsh Government)
  • Disabled Person's Welsh Concessionary Travel Card (Welsh Government)
  • a Senior SmartPass (Northern Ireland)
  • a Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass (Northern Ireland)
  • a War Disablement SmartPass or War Disabled SmartPass (Northern Ireland)
  • a 60+ SmartPass (Northern Ireland)
  • a Half Fare SmartPass (Northern Ireland)

Chronically sick or disabled

A badge of a form prescribed under section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 or section 14 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 (blue badge scheme).

Electoral documents

  • an electoral identity document issued under section 13BD (electoral identity document: Great Britain)
  • an anonymous elector’s document issued under section
  • 513BE (anonymous elector’s document: Great Britain) the holder of which has an anonymous entry at the time of the application for a ballot paper
  • an electoral identity card issued under section 13C (electoral identity card: Northern Ireland)
  • a national identity card issued by an EEA state

Changes to absent voting

If you are applying to vote by post or by proxy, you will be asked to provide proof of your identity. A new application service will be set up which allows you to apply for a postal or proxy vote, and verify your identity, online.

The existing secrecy requirements will be extended to postal and proxy votes. You can find out more about the secrecy requirements on the Electoral Commission website. 

Postal Voting

Currently when you vote by post you are required to refresh your signature every 5 years, this will be changing to every 3 years.

If you hand in your postal vote at a polling station on the day of the election, you will only be allowed to hand in a maximum of 6 postal votes. Political parties and campaigners will be prevented from handing in postal votes.

Proxy Voting

You will only be able to act as a proxy for a maximum of 4 people. Of these 4, the maximum number who can be ‘domestic electors’ (voters living in the UK) is 2.

Accessibility at polling stations

The new law will make it easier for voters with disabilities to vote. Voters with disabilities will be given extra support at polling stations and proposals will allow anyone over the age of 18 to act as a companion for a voter with a disability. Read further information about voting if you have a disability.

If you vote in person at a polling station, you will now need to bring Photo Identification (ID) with you.

This also applies to someone who is voting on your behalf if you cannot attend a polling station yourself.

You won’t be able to use a photocopy of your ID and must bring the original. Out of date ID is acceptable provided the photo still bears a clear likeness to you.

There are a number of different Photo IDs you can use when making your vote.

They include:

• A passport
• Driving licence
• Older/disabled person’s bus pass
• An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
• Merseytravel Pass
• A Blue Badge
• National Identity Card issued by an EEA state

You won’t be able to use a photocopy of your ID and must bring the original. Out of date ID is acceptable provided the photo still bears a clear likeness to you.

You can apply for a free voter ID document (a Voter Authority Certificate) if you don't have an accepted form of photo ID, your ID no longer looks like you or you're worried about using an existing form of ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker.

Click here to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate to be able to vote in the May 4th, 2023 elections is Tuesday, April 25th 2023.

If you're registered to vote anonymously and want to vote in person, you'll need to apply for an Anonymous Elector's Document.

Find out more about registering to vote anonymously and how to vote anonymously

Yes. Photo ID will be required to be shown when casting your vote for all elections from May 4th, 2023 onwards.


Sefton Council not store or collect any data or identification details from you when you enter our polling stations.

You will only be required to show your ID to a Senior Sefton Council Poll Clerk, who will confirm verbally that the ID is valid and bares a true likeness to you.

We will not ask for any other details and you will not be asked or required to show your ID to anybody else in the polling station.

National legislation means voters will need to show an acceptable form of Photo ID in order to be able to vote in person in an election.

A private area will be available and you can choose to have your photo ID viewed in private. This might be a separate room, or an area separated by a privacy screen, depending on the polling station.

If you do not consent to showing your ID or forget to bring ID with you, you will not be able to vote.

You will not need to provide photo ID to vote by post.

This is because there are other identification checks, including verification of your signature and date of birth, both when you apply for a postal vote and when you submit your ballot paper.

Last Updated on Thursday, May 23, 2024

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