Published on

17 June 2024

Make sure you have your ID ready for general election

It is the first general election to be held since photo ID became a requirement for voting at a polling station

Voter with ID

Wokingham Borough Council is encouraging residents to check they have suitable photo ID and to apply for free ID before the deadline.

For many residents, the general election on Thursday 4 July will be the first time they have needed to bring photo ID to vote at a polling station.

The need to bring ID to a polling station has been in place since May 2023, but may be new to those who did not vote in the last two local elections. It came as a result of the Elections Act 2022, which brought about a number of changes to elections and voting in local and national elections.

Lots of forms of photo ID are accepted, including a passport, driving licence and blue badge. A full list of approved forms of ID can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website.

If you don’t have any of the listed forms of ID, you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC). If you have applied before, you do not need to apply again this year. The deadline to apply for a VAC for the general election is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June.

Andrew Moulton, Acting Returning Officer, said: “The relatively new need for photo ID is an important step to remember for those wishing to take part in the election on 4 July. If you are someone who hasn’t voted in the last couple of years, or since the last general election was held, it is worth taking the time to read about the changes and check you have appropriate ID to take with you on polling day.

“If you don’t have any of the approved forms of ID, applying for a VAC is a simple way to ensure you will still be able to take part. Make a reminder on your calendar or phone to bring the ID with you on the day of the election and note which type of ID you are planning to use.”

Residents can use expired ID, as long as they still resemble the photograph on the document and it must be the original document. Anyone who brings a poll card by itself will not be allowed to vote, but if they forget their ID, they can come back later in the day, with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm. Polling station staff will ask for ID to be shown before issuing ballot papers.

Residents can apply for a VAC online or contact the council’s electoral services team by email or call (0118) 974 6000 to request a paper copy of the application form. The team will also be able to help with any questions you may have about completing the application.

All you need to apply is a recent digital photo of yourself and your National Insurance number. You can still apply if you don’t have your National Insurance number, but you will need to provide other documents to prove your identity, such as a birth certificate, bank statement and utility bill.

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