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New voter ID requirements

Easy Read guide

Bring Photographic ID to vote in a Polling Station

Voters are now required to show photographic identification at polling stations before they are given a ballot paper. You can find out more about the Elections Act 2022 at gov.uk.

Voters must bring a suitable form of photographic ID to their polling station. The most commonly available ID include:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or Commonwealth country
  • Photographic driver's licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional)
  • European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID Card
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
  • A Blue Badge
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority*

 * For example, East Sussex County Council Bus Pass; Disabled Person's Bus Pass.

Only original documents are accepted; scanned images or copies will not be accepted.

Documents past their expiry date will be accepted, if the photo is still a current likeness.

See full list of photo ID accepted from Electoral Commission

No suitable photo ID

If you do not have any of the accepted photo ID, and you want to vote at the polling station, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free photographic identification document specific for the purpose of voting.

Voters who do not produce valid photo ID or a Voter Authority Certificate will not be allowed to vote on the day.

You can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate online on the gov.uk website - Apply for photo ID to vote

If you are unable to apply online, you can download a paper application form below.

Electoral Services contact details and postal address for completed paper forms

Electoral Services (Lewes district)

Electoral Services (Eastbourne)

If you are not able to apply online or download the Voter Authority Certificate application form, please contact us using the details above and we will arrange for an application form to be sent to you in the post.

Proxy Vote

If you have chosen to vote by proxy, the person who you have trusted and appointed to vote on your behalf, will have to take their own photographic identification to be issued with a ballot paper.

Postal Voter

If you vote by post, then you will not be affected and will be issued with your postal ballot papers as usual.

What is voter identification and what will voters need to know?

Voter identification will require voters to prove their identity by showing a form of photographic identification, before being given their ballot paper in a polling station.

A broad range of documents, both in date and expired, will be acceptable in order to prove your identity to vote.

What identification will be acceptable?

There will be a wide range of photographic identification which will be acceptable.

These include:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, and EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • Photographic driver's licence issued by the UK, Channel Island, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional)
  • European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID Card
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
  • A Blue Badge
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority*

 * For example, East Sussex County Council Buss Pass; Disabled Person's Bus Pass.

See full list of photo ID accepted from Electoral Commission

Expired photographic identification will also be accepted if the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

No suitable photo ID

If you do not have any of the accepted photo ID, and you want to vote at the polling station, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free photographic identification document specific for the purpose of voting.

You can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate online on the gov.uk website - Apply for photo ID to vote

Other ways to vote

You do not need photo ID to vote by post. The deadline for the receipt of new postal vote applications is 5pm 11 working days prior to the date of an election, and it is recommended that you submit your application as soon as possible. You can download a postal vote application form from the Electoral Commission website - Apply to vote by post.

What will happen at the polling station?

 When you arrive at the polling station, a member of staff will:

  1. Ask for your poll card, scan the QR code on the poll card and confirm your name and address. You do not need your poll card to vote, but it will speed the process up if you bring it along with you
  2. Ask for your photo ID and check it is acceptable
  3. If your ID is acceptable, they will give you your ballot paper and direct you to complete it in a polling booth as usual

A privacy screen will be available at the polling station, so you can choose to have your photo ID viewed in private if you like.

Staff at the polling station are there to help. If you need assistance at any point, just ask.