Register to vote online

On this page you will find information on registering to vote at home or overseas.

How can I register to vote in the UK?

To register to vote you must be 16, although voters must be 18 or over. You must also be a British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union member state.

How do I register to vote?

Registering to vote is quick and easy.

You will need to provide your name, address, date of birth and also your National Insurance Number. Your National Insurance Number can be found on your National Insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.

How do I register as an overseas voter?

If you’re a British citizen and you used to live in Portsmouth, you’re eligible to register as an overseas voter. Overseas voters are eligible to vote in parliamentary elections and national referendums in the UK.

To complete your registration, you’ll need your national insurance number, passport details and your previous UK address.

How do I register as a service voter?

If you are a member of the armed forces, or a husband, wife or registered civil partner of a service voter, you have the option to register as a service voter. If you are often posted overseas, or if you move around frequently, registering as a service voter enables you to remain registered at a fixed UK address. Service voter registrations are valid for a period of five years.

Can I search the electoral register online?

There are two registers. Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The electoral register

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:

  • detecting crime (such as fraud)
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit applications

The open register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but it is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

How do I opt out of the open register?

If you would like to remove your details from the open register, you can do so by contacting us at

What if I move house?

The Register of Electors is not automatically updated when you notify the Council Tax section.

If I pay council tax, am I registered to vote automatically?

No. The electoral register is not updated automatically if you pay council tax because the criteria are different. For example, the council tax may be paid by a landlord rather than residents of a property.