Voter photo ID at elections

What identification you will need to vote in person at polling stations on election day

From 4 May 2023 onwards, all voters are required to show photographic identification (photo ID) at polling stations before they are given a ballot paper.

You will not be required to provide photo ID if you vote by post.

Accepted forms of photographic ID

To vote at a polling station, you must present one of the following:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, A British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • Driving licence issued by the UK, any Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state (including provisional)
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Identity card bearing Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • Blue Badge
  • National Identity Card issued by an EEA state
  • Older Person's Bus Pass
  • Disabled Person's Bus Pass
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • Scottish National Entitlement Card issued in Scotland
  • 60 or Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • Senior SmartPass or Blind Person's SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • War Disablement SmartPass or War Disabled SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Island
  • Electoral Identify card issued in Northern Ireland
  • Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) or a temporary VAC

If your photographic identity has expired, it will still be accepted if the photograph is still a good likeness of you.

You may be required to provide further proof of identity if there is a discrepancy between your name shown on the form of identity and the name you claim to be.

Apply for free photo ID for voting

If you do not have any of the accepted forms of photo ID, you will be able to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) in person, by post or online.

Alternatively, you can download a paper application form and send this to:

Electoral Services Team,
Braintree District Council,
Causeway House,
Braintree, CM7 0SB

If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request an application form contact the Elections Team on 01376 552525 or

There are three varieties of 'electoral identity document':

  • the Voter Authority Certificate
  • the temporary Voter Authority Certificate, which EROs have discretion to provide in contingency situations
  • the Anonymous Electors Document - for use by anonymous electors only

Voter Authority Certificate

The VAC is a A4 paper-based document, with appropriate security features, displaying only the elector's name, photograph, date of birth, date of issue, issuing local authority and an 'identifier' (i.e. an alphanumerical reference).

The deadline for applications for Voter Authority Certificates is 5pm, 25 April 2023.

Temporary Voter Authority Certificate

For valid applications made before the deadline, which have been processed, determined and sent to the print suppliers by the ERO, but where the elector has not received their VAC before polling day, EROs will have the option to print a temporary VAC up until 5pm on polling day. This temporary document will be valid only for the relevant polling day and the onus will be on the applicant to collect it from the ERO's office (or other delivery or collection arrangement as agreed with the ERO).

Appointment of an emergency proxy

In situations where an elector's photographic identification (including a previously issued VAC) has been lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged beyond use after the application deadline, EROs will be able to allow the appointment of an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day.