Photo ID now needed for elections

New government rules mean voters will be required to show an accepted form of photo ID if they want to vote at a polling station in this year’s District elections on Thursday 04 May.

The rules are now in force for all local, Police and Crime Commissioner and Parliamentary by-elections, as well as recall petitions.

An extensive list of acceptable forms of ID is available, including passports, driving licences, bus passes and blue badges. See the Electoral Commission website to check which forms of photo ID are acceptable at polling stations –

The ID does not even necessarily have to be in date – as long as the photo still looks like the resident who wants to use it and the name on the ID is the same name used to register to vote. However, only original versions of the ID will be accepted, photocopies or images will not be allowed in order to cast a vote.

Voters who do not have an accepted form of ID can apply for a free ‘voter authority certificate’ – a VAC – to allow them to cast their ballot. People can apply online on the government website:

A recent digital photograph and National Insurance number will be needed to apply. The VAC will be valid for 10 years and must be applied for by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.

People are also being reminded in order to vote they need to be on the Electoral Register. It only takes five minutes to register online at GOV.UK (