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Voters have just hours left to apply for ID certificate for General Election

26 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Polling station

Anyone who does not have the correct photo identification to vote in the General Election on July 4 has only a few hours left to apply for a special ID certificate.

This year is the first time in the UK that everybody wanting to vote in person at a general election will have to show a correct form of ID before casting a ballot.

Not all types of photo ID will be accepted at polling stations, but a passport, driving licence or blue badge are valid.

Other forms of permitted ID include an Older Person’s or Disabled Person’s Bus Pass, and an identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card).

5pm deadline

People in England, Scotland or Wales without the correct identification have until 5pm on Wednesday to apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

This can be done online at

The deadline for voters in Northern Ireland is also on Wednesday, but at the later time of 11.59pm.

Craig Westwood, director of communication, policy and research at the Electoral Commission, said: “Anyone who needs it should get their application in as soon as they can.

“The free ID ensures that everyone can take part in the general election, even if they don’t currently have an accepted form of photo ID.

“It is quick and easy to apply and there is information and support available from the Electoral Commission and your local authority.

“At every polling station, voters can ask to have their ID checked in private if they wish and polling station staff will check ID sensitively.”


Applications for voter ID certificates have jumped sharply in recent days, with 16,392 submitted in the week ending June 24 and 16,619 in the week to June 17, according to Government data.

Both of these figures are more than double the 7,795 applications submitted in the week to June 10.

Photo ID rules were brought in as part of the Elections Act 2022, as the Government said they were necessary to combat the risk of in-person voter fraud.

The requirements were first enforced at the May 2023 local council elections in England.

A report published in June 2023 by the Electoral Commission estimated that at least 0.25% of people who tried to vote at a polling station in those elections were not issued with a ballot paper because of the ID rules – the equivalent of approximately 14,000 voters.

Voter ID has been a requirement for elections in Northern Ireland since 2002.

Wednesday is also the deadline for people in England, Scotland or Wales to apply for a proxy vote in the election.

A proxy vote is when you ask someone else to cast your vote on your behalf.

Anyone completing an application for a proxy vote needs to give a reason why they cannot get to their polling station in person.

This may be because they are going to be on holiday, away with work, or are unable to travel to a polling station due to a disability.

The deadline for people in Northern Ireland to apply for a proxy vote has already passed.

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