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Voter ID - what you need to do for the May 2023 elections

From May 2023 individuals who wish to vote in person, including those acting as a proxy on behalf of another individual, will be required to produce an accepted form of photographic ID to prove their identity before they will be issued with a ballot paper. This is a national change implemented by the Government as part of the Elections Act 2022 which councils are required to follow when running elections.

This change will apply for the local elections taking place in the district on 4 May 2023. 

To vote in person, voters must be on the electoral register and bring a suitable form of photographic ID to their polling station. The most commonly used IDs include:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • Photographic driver’s licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional)
  • European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID Card
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
  • A Blue Badge
  • A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority

For more information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted, visit electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

Voters who do not produce valid identification or a Voter Authority Certificate (more information below), will not be allowed to vote.

Only original documents will be accepted; scanned images or copies will not be accepted.

Out of date photo ID

You can still use your photo ID if it's out of date, as long as it looks like you.

The name on your ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.

How to apply for ID if you do not have one of the accepted forms of ID

If you do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, which can be obtained free of charge from the Council. Anyone applying must already be on the electoral register.

The Voter Authority Certificate is a document containing an elector’s name and photograph that can be used as ID to vote in an election. Voter Authority Certificates do not have an expiration date and can be used in future elections so worth keeping hold of if you apply for one.

You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online at https://voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/ 

If you can’t complete the online application form you can request a paper form instead or apply in person at the Forest of Dean District Council offices. For more information please call us on 01594 812638 or email elections@fdean.gov.uk.

The deadline for applying for a Voter Authority Certificate for elections in May 2023 is 5pm Tuesday 25 April 2023.

You can find out more about Voter Authority Certificates here: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voter-id/applying-a-voter-authority-certificate 

Does this affect postal voting? 

Postal voters already provide signature and date of birth identifiers and will not be affected by these changes.

If you wish to vote by post in future elections including the 4 May 2023 elections, you can apply by downloading an application form here.

The deadline for registering for a postal vote is 5pm Tuesday 18 April 2023.

Proxy voting

If you choose to vote by proxy then the person who you have appointed to vote on your behalf will have to take their own valid identification to be issued with a ballot paper.

The deadline for registering for a proxy vote is 5pm Tuesday 25 April 2023.