What is my Digital Registration Number and why is it important?

  1. Am I eligible to register to vote?
  2. How do I register to vote?
  3. What happens after I submit my application to register to vote?
  4. How do I know if my application has been successful?
  5. What is my Digital Registration Number and why is it important?
  6. When will my details appear on the register?
  7. What happens if I submit my application on time before a deadline but it is then unsuccessful?
  8. How do you verify my identity?
  9. What happens if my details don’t match or I can’t provide my date of birth/national insurance number
  10. What is the deadline for registering to vote before an election?
  11. Are there certain elections which I need to register separately for?
  12. When do I need to re-register?
  13. How do I know if I'm eligible to vote in different elections?
  14. What is the poll card for?
  15. During my application I said I want to apply to vote by post or proxy - what happens now?
  16. How will my application to register to vote affect my credit rating?
  17. How do I find out where my Area Electoral Office is?

Am I eligible to register to vote?

Each person should register at the address where he or she is resident if they:

  • Are a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of a Member State of the European Union (click here for a list of countries).
  • Are over 17 or will turn 17 by 30 November 2019.

How do I register to vote?

There are two ways to register to vote:

  1. You can register online here. This is the quickest and easiest way to register.
  1. If you are unable to register online, you will need to complete a paper registration form and return it to the Area Electoral Office. The form can be downloaded from the Register to vote page or contact us and we will post one out to you.

What happens after I submit my application to register to vote?

Once you have successfully submitted your application, this will be sent to your Area Electoral Office. For your application to be successful, they must verify your identity and address. They will then contact you to confirm whether you have been registered to vote or whether you need to provide further information.

How do I know if my application has been successful?

You will receive a letter confirming that your application has been successful and that your details will be included on the next update to the electoral register. If you registered to vote online that letter will contain your Digital Registration Number (see below). If the Area Electoral Office requires further information to verify your identity or address then they will either send you a letter or an email.

What is my Digital Registration Number and why is it important?

Your Digital Registration Number is a unique number issued to you by the Area Electoral Office when you first register successfully online. Your number will not change when you re-register.

You will be sent notification of your Digital Registration Number in the letter confirming that your registration has been successful. It is very important that you keep this number in a safe place as you will need it if you decide to apply for a postal or proxy vote at any time in the future. Your application for a postal or proxy vote will not be accepted without your number. The Digital Registration Number is used to check your identity when applying for a post or proxy vote.

If you lose your Digital Registration Number and wish to apply for a postal or proxy vote you should contact your Area Electoral Office.

When will my details appear on the register?

A new register is published on 1 December every year. Monthly updates are published on the first working day of each month.

The date your details appear on the register will depend on when your completed application is successfully submitted. The table below details the deadline for each register update:

Completed application successfully submitted by:

If your application is successful your details will be updated on the electoral register on:

11 December 2018 2 January 2019
10 January 2018 1 February 2019
7 February 2018 1 March 2019
8 March 2019 1 April 2019
12 April 2019 Local Council Elections on 2 May 2019
25 April 2019
10 May 2019 3 June 2019
7 June 2019 1 July 2019
9 July 2019 1 August 2019
9 August 2019 2 September 2019
9 September 2019 1 October 2019
10 October 2019 1 November 2019
7 November 2019 29 November 2019

 

What happens if I submit my application on time before a deadline but it is then unsuccessful?

If you successfully submit your application before the deadline but are required to provide documentary evidence or an attestation to verify your identity or address, you will be given additional time after the deadline (the length of time depends on the registration timetable) to submit the documents if you wish to be registered for that particular registration date.

How do you verify my identity?

If you have provided your name, address, date of birth and national insurance number - these will be matched against your records held at the Department for Work and Pensions and other data sources. If they match, the Area Electoral Office can be confident of your identity and address and unless there are any other concerns, your application to register to vote will be successful.

What happens if my details don’t match or I can’t provide my date of birth/national insurance number

In either scenario, the Area Electoral Office must verify your identity by another method. These will be as follows:

Requesting documentary evidence

The Area Electoral Office will contact you, usually by post or email, requesting you to provide documentary evidence to prove your identity or address. The full list of documents will be provided with the request but includes forms of ID such as a passport and driving license.

Requesting an attestation

If you are unable to provide any documentary evidence relating to your identity or address then please contact the Area Electoral Office. Their details will be on the evidence request letter. You will then be invited to submit an attestation. This is where you ask someone to sign a declaration confirming your identity. The Area Electoral Office will provide you with the appropriate form depending upon your circumstances.

Your application to register to vote will not be successful until you have provided the documentary evidence or attestation as required.

What is the deadline for registering to vote before an election?

You must submit your registration application before midnight twelve days before election day. If you submit your application after this point you will not be able to vote at the election.

Are there certain elections which I need to register separately for?

You do not need to re-register for each election or referendum. If you receive a poll card for your address then you are currently registered and able to vote in the upcoming election or referendum.

When do I need to re-register?

You need to re-register if you move house, change your name or your nationality. You also have to re-register during a canvass.

How do I know if I'm eligible to vote in different elections?

British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen - you can vote at all elections.

European citizen (not British or Irish) - you can vote at Northern Ireland Assembly and Local Council elections. You cannot vote at UK Parliamentary elections.

Overseas Elector - you can vote at UK Parliamentary elections. You cannot vote at Northern Ireland Assembly or Local Council elections.

What is the poll card for?

The poll card provides important information including the location of your polling station . You do not need it to vote.

Before each election, if you are on the electoral register, you will be sent a poll card approximately six weeks before the poll.  If you do not receive a poll card then you may not be on the electoral register. You should contact your Area Electoral Office to find out.

If you apply close to the deadline for an election, there is a chance that you will receive your poll card before you receive the letter or email confirming that your application was successful. The poll card also confirms that you are on the register for the forthcoming election.

During my application I said I want to apply to vote by post or proxy - what happens now?

You must complete a separate application to vote by post or proxy. This cannot be done online but must instead be completed by hand on a paper form as you may be required to provide an attestation as part of the application process. As part of the postal voting application process you will also be required to provide a signature which will be matched against the signature on the declaration of identity which will accompany your returned postal ballot paper.

If you registered to vote online, you will receive the application either by post or email, depending on what you requested in your application. If you have not received this within two weeks, then please contact your Area Electoral Office. 

If you did not register to vote online you can download a form from the Voting by post or proxy page or contact your Area Electoral Office and they will post one out to you.

You need to complete the application and return it to the Area Electoral Office in order to be considered for a postal or proxy vote. Completed forms cannot be sent electronically.

How will my application to register to vote affect my credit rating?

If your application to register to vote is successful then you will be added to the next update of the register (see above for dates). Within 5 working days of publishing the update it will be sent to credit reference agencies. 

It can take varying times for credit reference agencies to update their records. You will receive a confirmation letter by post from the Area Electoral Office once your application to register is successful - it is useful to keep this in case the credit reference agency is having difficulty finding you on the electoral register.

How do I find out where my Area Electoral Office is?

You can find a list of Area Electoral Offices here.