Voters required to show photo ID at local election in May 


Monday, 16 January, 2023

Residents in Woking borough will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local election on Thursday 4 May 2023.

The new national requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act, was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May.  To help residents to prepare in advance, Woking Borough Council is asking residents to check if they already have accepted forms of photo ID. These include:

  • a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport
  • a UK, EEA or Commonwealth driver's licence
  • some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card.

The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

From today [Monday 16 January], any resident who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply online for free photographic ID, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. Alternatively, they can contact the council’s elections team to request a paper application form or apply in person at the Civic Offices by making an appointment.

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, said: “Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.”

Julie Fisher, Returning Officer at Woking Borough Council, said: “With the election taking place in Woking borough on Thursday 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of photo ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.

“We will be drawing on our previous experience of using photo ID to vote. In 2018 and 2019, the borough took part in two successful government led pilots to test the feasibility of requesting photo ID to vote at polling stations.”

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at Voters must be registered to vote before applying for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

Read more about the local election taking place on Thursday 4 May 2023