General view of polling station

New rules on photo ID for voting

But if we don’t have photo ID we can apply for a free certificate to allow us to vote

The rules are changing around voting and we’ll soon need photo ID when we go to the ballot box.

Unless we’re in Northern Ireland, where photo ID has been required for 20 years, this is a big change.

It only applies if we’re going to vote in person. If we’re doing a postal or proxy vote we won’t need photo ID. But the person voting as our proxy will need it.

Types of photo ID that are accepted include passport, driving licence, blue badge or bus pass as well as many others. If we have ID but it’s out of date we can use it as long as we still look like our photograph.

But if we don’t have any of the IDs on the list we can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

The last date we can apply for one of these is six working days before the election we want to vote in.

We need to be on the electoral register and fill out a form. We also need our National Insurance number a digital photo of ourselves. If we need help with the form we can phone 0800 328 0280.

The next elections are on 4 May. These include local elections, Westminster by-elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. (If we want to vote in these, we need to make sure we’re registered by 17 April).

If we’re 16 or over (14 in Scotland) we can register to vote. It should only take about five minutes.

Image: Bigstock

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