Who can register to vote?
- Anyone aged 16 or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18)
- British or qualifying Commonwealth citizens - this means Commonwealth citizens who have leave to remain in the UK or do not require such leave.
- Citizens of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member states
Citizens of EU countries other than the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus and Malta can't vote in UK Parliamentary general elections, but can vote at local government elections. They can also vote at European Parliamentary elections if they fill in a form stating that they wish to vote in the UK and not in their home country.
Individual Electoral Registration (IER)
Previously, the 'head of household' was responsible for registering everyone who lived at the address, but following the introduction of IER, every individual is responsible for their own voter registration. The new system also means that people can now register online.
Most people who were on the register of electors in June 2014 will have been registered automatically under the new system. They do not need to do anything and have remained registered to vote. These people should have received a letter of confirmation that they are registered under the new system.
People who were not automatically registered will have received a letter and form explaining how to re-register.
As well as individuals taking responsibility for their own registration, the other difference is that people need to provide a few more details about themselves to register – these are date of birth and National Insurance Number.
Individual Electoral Registration gives you the right and responsibility to register yourself, instead of giving the responsibility to a 'head of household'. It encourages people to take individual responsibility for their own vote.
The change also allows more convenient methods of registration, for example, by internet. Because the IER system asks you for your national insurance number and date of birth before you are added to the register, the electoral register will be more secure and more resistant to threats of electoral fraud.
For any other electoral enquiries please speak to Electoral Services.
How to register to vote?
You can now register to vote online at www.gov.uk/registertovote. Registering online takes about 5 minutes.
If you would like to register by completing a paper form then please contact the Electoral Services Helpline on 01395 517402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The registration form and other application forms are available in large print, Braille, audio tape and languages other than English. Forms can also be accepted scanned or digitally signed by email and fax.