Register to vote

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Everyone is responsible for registering themselves to vote.

Why register?

  • if you don't register, you can't vote!
  • by law, you must register to vote, or you could be fined up to £80
  • if you are not on the register you may find it harder to get a loan, mortgage, finance agreement, or even a mobile phone contract as the register is used by credit reference agencies
  • it gives you a say on who runs the country, who sits on your County, District and Parish Councils and who represents you

Who can register?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 or older (although you can't vote until you're 18)
  • a British citizen; or
  • an Irish, qualifying Commonwealth, or European Union citizen living in the UK

If you are a student living away from home, you can register at both your home and university term time address. Registering to vote at your term time address means you can choose where you vote.

You can still register to vote if you have no fixed address. You will need something called a 'declaration of local connection' to show that you are connected to and spend time at a particular place.

For more information contact Electoral Services on 01609 779977 or

How to register 

Use the government online service to register to vote, or update your name or address. It takes less than 5 minutes, and you can do it on the device you're viewing this web page from:

You will need your National Insurance number and date of birth. Your National Insurance number can be found on your National Insurance card or letter, or on official paper work such as payslips or letters about tax or benefits. If you cannot find your National Insurance number, the website has some advice:

If you are unable to complete the application online, contact us on 01609 779977 for a paper form.

Everyone is responsible for registering themselves to vote and the only way to do it is by either going online or by completing a paper form. Electoral Registration is a completely separate process and you will not automatically be registered to vote by any other contact you have with the Council, such Council Tax or Housing Benefit.

When we receive your application, we have to check your identity against Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and other records, so applying does not mean that you will be automatically registered. Once we have checked your details, you will receive a letter from us either confirming that you are registered, or asking you for more information.

The electoral register is only updated at certain times of the year - generally the first of every month, apart from in October and November. There are strict deadlines which mean that you can only be added to the register if we receive your application on time, and we have all the information we need to process it. 

The Electoral Register

Once you've registered, you will be put on the Electoral Register. This lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. This register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only people who are eligible can vote. Your details will also be shown on the Open Register, but you are able to opt out of this if you wish to. More information is here:

Annual Canvass

Each year we run an Annual Canvass. This is to confirm the details we have for individual households and care homes an opportunity for you to make any necessary changes. More information on that is available here:

Further information

For more information contact Electoral Services on 01609 779977 or

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