How do I register to vote in the 2024 UK election?

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How do I register to vote?

The UK will hold a general election on 4 July. All eligible voters will need to make sure they are registered to vote around two weeks before election day.

Here’s what you need to know about how you register to vote and when.

The deadline to register to vote is 23:59 on Tuesday 18 June

Registering only takes around five minutes if you do it online. It’s the same whether you plan to vote in person at a polling station, by post, or through a proxy voter.

Go to the website and fill out the form. You'll need your National Insurance number or another form of ID, and current address details to hand. You can also register by sending a form to your local electoral office.

Students can be registered at both their home and term-time addresses, but can only vote in one place. Voting more than once in a general election is a criminal offence.

Even if you’ve voted before, you might need to register again

If you’ve moved address, changed your nationality, or changed your name for any reason, you will need to register to vote again.

You don’t have to vote in person

If you can’t get to a polling station on 4 July or you don’t want to, you can register for a proxy vote or a postal vote. But you must register to vote first, before the deadline on Tuesday 18 June.

A proxy vote means someone else votes for you on the day, and a postal vote means you can send your vote in by post ahead of polling day.

There are separate deadlines if you can’t vote in person on 4 July

If you want to vote by post, then you need to submit an application online or by post before 17:00 on Wednesday 19 June. You can find all the relevant details on the website.

If you’d rather vote by proxy you need to be registered for a proxy vote before 17:00 on Tuesday 26 June. The person voting for you must be registered to vote too.

The deadline to apply for a postal or proxy vote in Northern Ireland is 17:00 on Friday 14 June 2024.

There’s also a deadline to apply for free voter ID

If you want to apply for free voter ID, the deadline to apply for the Voter Authority Certificate is 17:00 on Wednesday 26 June, although you can use a passport, driving licence, or 20 other forms of ID to prove your identity at the polling station instead.

Voters in Northern Ireland can use the Electoral Identity Card.

And you need to make sure you’re allowed to vote

A dachshund stands in front of a polling station sign

If you’re in England or Northern Ireland, you can register to vote if you’re 16, but you can only vote after you turn 18. In Scotland and Wales you can register to vote from 14, but you can cannot vote until you are 18.

Some people are legally excluded from voting - this includes most convicted prisoners serving a sentence, or peers in the House of Lords.

You can register to vote if you’re from another country

You can vote if you are a British, Irish or a qualifying Commonwealth citizen.

Some European citizens can also vote, such as citizens from Denmark, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain living in the UK or people from other EU countries who’ve had the right to live in the UK before the end of 2020 and are still living here.

People living abroad can register as an overseas voter

If you’re a British citizen abroad, you can register using the same online form but be ready to give extra information about where and when you last lived in the UK and your passport details.

You can also register as an overseas voter if you’re an Irish citizen voting in the Northern Irish elections. However, voting in Northern Ireland from abroad will mean using a paper form which you can print off.

Produced by Text Formats: Rosemary McCabe and Alastair Reid

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