The Electoral Register is a record of everyone who is eligible to vote.
You can only vote if your name is on the Electoral Register. You are not automatically added when you register with Council Tax.
You are required by law to register your details, but you do not have to vote on Election Day (this is your choice).
Who can Register to Vote?
- aged 16 or over, but you cannot vote until you turn 18
- a British or Commonwealth citizen
- Citizen of the Irish Republic or other EU member state
- Members of the Armed Forces, Crown Servants, and British Council employees, and their partners. They can register annually, but can do so as 'Service' voters or alternatively they can register as ordinary voters
- British citizens living abroad can be registered for up to 15 years after they last appeared on a register in the UK
Register to Vote
To register to vote you need to complete a registration form. You can register to vote online at gov.uk/register-to-vote:
You cannot register to vote if:
- you are under 16
- you are not a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen
- you live or work abroad for more than six months of the year (although you can register as an overseas elector)
European Union Citizens
Citizens of European Union countries can vote in local government elections but cannot vote in UK Parliamentary elections. If you are an EU citizen and want to vote in European Parliamentary elections, you must fill in a separate form. Please contact the Electoral Services office to ask for one.
The European Union is made up of 28 member states. They are:
United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
The Full and Open Registers
There are two versions of the register - the Full Register and the Open Register.
The Full Register
The full Register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. Only certain people and organisations can have copies of the full Register which can only use it for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit. Credit reference agencies are also allowed to buy the full register and can only use it for checking names and addresses of people applying for credit and to stop money laundering. Anyone who has a copy of the full register will be committing a criminal offence if they unlawfully pass on information from it.
You do not have a choice about your name and address being on the full register.
The Open Register
The open Register can be bought by any person, company or organisation and can be used for any purpose such as checking your identity and commercial activities such as marketing.
You can choose not to be included on the open register by ticking the relevant box on the voter registration or canvass form.