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Register to vote

Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

Previously, one person in every household was responsible for registering everyone else who lives at that address.  Under individual electoral registration, each person is now required to register to vote individually, rather than by household. Under Individual Electoral Registration you need to provide 'identifying information', such as your date of birth and national insurance number, when applying to register and your application will need to be verified before you are added to the register. Anyone unable to supply this information can provide an alternative form of evidence of their identity.

How to register

You can register online or download an application form at 

If you cannot register online or download a form, you can register by phone by calling 01524 582905.

Who can register?

A British, Irish Republic or Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of a European Union country living in the UK or a citizen of the Channel Islands or Isle of Man living in the UK.

You need to register at the address you are living at unless you are overseas, in the armed forces or a crown servant.

You can register to vote if you are 16 or over, but you cannot vote until you are 18.

Voting if you live overseas

Changes to voting in UK Parliament elections for overseas electors commenced on Tuesday 16 January 2024 including the removal of the 15-year limit on the rights of eligible British Citizens to vote in Parliamentary elections. For more information visit

Do you have friends or family living abroad who are British citizens? They can now vote in UK Parliament elections, even if they’ve lived outside the UK for more than 15 years.

They will need to have previously lived or been registered to vote in the UK at some point in their life.

They can now also register to vote online, and their overseas declaration is valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect.

These changes apply to:

  • UK Parliament general elections
  • Parliamentary by-elections
  • Parliamentary recall petitions

They do not apply to local elections.

What are the eligibility rules?

British citizens, which includes eligible Irish citizens and citizens of Crown Dependencies, may register as overseas voters if they are now living abroad, providing they:

  • were previously registered to vote in the UK, either before they left the UK or as an overseas voter; or
  • previously lived in the UK.

Overseas British citizens must apply to register as a voter using the address where they were last registered to vote in the UK or, if they have never been registered, the last address where they lived in the UK.

What if voters have been registered at more than one address in the past?

If they have been previously registered at more than one address, they should use the most recent address at which they were registered.

How do voters register?

Overseas voters can apply to register in the same way as any other voter. You can apply online at or by completing a paper form.

Opting out of the open register

Although your details have to be included on the full electoral register, you can opt out of the open register.

Anonymous registration 

You may be able to register anonymously if you are concerned about your name and address appearing on the electoral register because you think it could affect your personal security.

We can provide confidential advice should you wish to discuss a potential application.

Further information

For further information on registering to vote see the Electoral Commission's Your Vote Matters website.

Please email us to request a copy of our Privacy Impact Assessment at

Last updated: 29 February 2024

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