A useful Q&A is at the foot of this article
For the first time, residents in North East Lincolnshire will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections.
To be prepared, borough residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID.
Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/ or by completing a paper form.
The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID, at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.
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.”
Rob Walsh, Returning Officer at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“With elections taking place in our borough on May 4 2023, it is important that those who are eligible to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.”
Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to North East Lincolnshire Council’s electoral services team. If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team on 01472 324160 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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 www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.
The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May.
Voter ID Q&A
Why do I need ID? If you want to vote in person in UK elections and referendums from 4th May 2023, you need photo ID. The Elections Act 2022 introduced the requirement to show photo ID at UK Parliamentary elections, police and crime commissioner elections and at local elections in England.
Who needs a VAC? If you do not have physical photo ID you need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC). The list is available at Voter ID | Electoral Commission
How do I apply? Apply online Apply for photo ID to vote (called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (if you do not have access, ask friends and family if they can help) or you can collect a paper copy from the Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU and return it with a photograph. The office is open on weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays) between 8.45am and 4pm.
I have a driving licence for my old address can I use this for ID? Yes, as long as the photo is a likeness to you now.
My passport is out of date? You can still use it, as long as the photo is a likeness to you now.
Do I need ID for postal votes? No, it is only if you vote in person.
Do I need it for a proxy vote? Your proxy will need ID when visiting the polling station.
I do not want to provide my ID, what do I do? You will not be able to vote in person at the elections. However, you can apply for a Postal Vote.
How long does it take for the VAC to arrive? As yet there is no confirmation, however it may be stated on your confirmation email.
How long does the VAC last? Voter Authority Certificates do not have an expiration date. But it’s recommended that you renew your certificate after 10 years.
What do I do if I have moved home? You have to apply for a new VAC.
Can I use it as ID for other reasons? No, this is clearly stated on Apply for photo ID to vote (called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Helpline: 0800 328 0280 for all enquires and for large print, braille or easy read documentation.