Voters must show a form of photo ID when voting at a polling station. Only certain types of photo ID may be used.

Voters without one of the accepted types of ID can apply for a free voter authority certificate. This can be used when voting at a polling station. For the elections on 2 May 2024, the deadline for applying for a certificate is 5pm, Wednesday 24 April 2024.

To apply for a voter authority certificate, go to the government’s website.

If you know someone who can’t apply online, they can call us on 023 9283 4074

Voting by post

Anyone can apply to vote by post; you do not need to have a special reason. Apply by 5pm on Wednesday 17 April to vote at the elections on 2 May 2024.

To find out more about voting by post, go to how to vote by post

Help and support

If you have any questions concerning the above issues, or about elections or voting, please contact the election services office by email at elections@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or by phone on 023 9283 4074.

Frequently asked questions

Will voters need photo ID at all future elections?

Yes, voters will need to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at future elections.

What types of photo identification will be accepted?

You can use identity documents which are included on the Government’s official list including:

  • A passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • A driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA member state
  • A biometric immigration document
  • A national identity card issued by an EEA state
  • An Older Person’s Bus Pass
  • A Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
  • A Blue Badge
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)

See a full list of accepted photo ID on the government’s website.

What if I don’t have suitable photo ID?

If you don’t have one of the forms of photo id listed, you may apply for a voter authority certificate free of charge. The voter authority certificate is a photo identity document designed to be used as a form of ID for voting purposes.

Can I use a document if it has expired, for example, an out-of-date passport?

Yes, as long as the photo is still a good enough likeness of you. If you now look different to the photo, you should apply for a voter authority certificate.

Can I use a copy of an identity document?

No, you can’t use photocopies or electronic copies (for example, a copy of a document on your phone).

Are there any other identity documents that would be acceptable?

No, only the identity documents included on the official list can be accepted.

What if I look different to the photo on the identity document?

Your ID will not be accepted if you no longer look the same as in the photo. You should apply for a voter authority certificate.

Can I use ID if it’s for my old address?

Yes, as long as the photo is still a good enough likeness of you.

Can I request that my identity is checked in private?

Yes, there will be an area available at each polling station; please ask the staff. Male and female staff will be available.

Will voters need to take their poll card with them when voting?

No.

Will the poll card count as a form of ID?

No, only the identity documents included in the official list can be accepted. This does not include poll cards as they are not photo ID.

Will voter ID requirements apply to postal voters?

Anyone applying for a postal vote must complete an identity check as part of their application. Find out more about how to vote by post.

Will voter ID requirements apply to proxy voters?

Anyone acting as a proxy will need to show photo ID when voting at a polling station. The identity document should belong to the proxy, not the person on whose behalf the proxy is voting.

Is the voter authority certificate valid for more than one election?

It will be valid for more than one election. It is recommended that it is renewed at least every 10 years. However, because the photo must remain a good likeness of the voter it may be necessary to apply for a new one earlier.