Registering to vote

Find out how to register to vote here and register to vote by post.

To be able to vote in the UK, you need to be registered.

As the election is set for 6 May, you need to be registered by 20 April.

You're most likely to be registered in the same place you were last time there was an election, so don't need to register again. But if you've moved house since the 2005 election or the 2009 European election then you'll need to re-register.  If this is the first time you're old enough to vote, the you'll definitely need to register.

So who can vote?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 years old or over but you have to be 18 to vote
  • a British citizen
  • or an Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen who is resident in the UK

So what now?

Well, it's fairly easy to register. You just fill in a form, which you can download here or you can call your local electoral office and they'll send you one (there are some links on the side - use the one for the area you're in).

It does need to signed, so they can check it's actually you.

Then pop it in the post to your local electoral office who'll register you as soon as they get it. But make sure you have time to allow for the post so you're registered in time to be able to vote!

What if I'm out of the country when the election is on?

If you're away sunning yourself in Spain or touring the Greek Isles, or even away with work, then you CAN still vote.

Again, download a form or get your local electoral office to send you one. They're pretty helpful and will make sure it reaches you about a week before the election.

Remember to request a postal vote by 20 April to allow time to send it back, especially if you are off roadtripping it in America! The people at the electoral office will then add your vote to the ballot and include it in the count of the day.

If you're serving in the armed forces abroad, you can get someone else you trust, maybe your mum or girlfriend, to vote for you. This is called a 'by proxy' vote. You can also use this if you're ill or on holiday (instead of a postal vote). You'll need to register for this 6 days before the election.