Photographic ID needed to cast your vote in this May’s local elections

Election time

Voters will need to show photographic ID to be able to cast their vote in May’s local elections.

In April 2022, the Elections Act 2022 was passed by the UK Parliament. The Act requires voters in Great Britain to show photo ID before being issued a ballot paper in polling stations at UK Parliamentary elections, local council elections and referendums in England and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales. This also applies to a proxy voter, someone voting in person on someone’s behalf.

Voter ID is designed to prevent the crime of pretending to be someone else when you vote. The Government acknowledges levels of fraud are low but argues that every ballot matters, and that voter ID will protect voters from having their vote stolen.

During the passage of the Elections Bill opposition parties highlighted concerns that requiring photo ID might disenfranchise some voters. Cat Smith (Labour) said, “Concerns have been raised from across the House and from charities and campaigning organisations that disabled people, older people, younger people and people without the spare cash to buy that passport or driving licence are going to be disenfranchised.”

The voter ID provisions will be in place for local elections in May and all UK Parliamentary elections held after that date.

This will affect all voters across Thanet who vote in person or by proxy, at the next local election on Thursday 4 May.

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

  • 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
  • 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 such as a Kent County Council Bus Pass or Disabled Person’s Bus Pass,

Only original documents will accepted; scanned images or copies will be rejected however expired documents are accepted if the photo is still a current likeness.

See full list of photo ID accepted at GOV.UK

Voter Authority Certificate

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 purposes of voting.

Apply here

Postal voters

Postal voters will not be affected and will be issued with their postal ballot papers as usual.


  1. “Voter ID is designed to prevent the crime of pretending to be someone else when you vote”
    W e all know this is not true, it as ever gives the Tories the upper hand.
    My wife has none of the above documents, disabled, pretty much housebound, so how is she likely to have or get one of those, also how many people who would never vote Tory are also unlikely to have these documents.. total fix by the Tories as usual

  2. Just another desperate Tory ploy to stop people(especially young ones more likely to be left in political views & not having a passport or driving licence) voting for other parties-especially Labour. Not that dissimilar to what Bush & his brother did with banning certain people from voting in 2000.

    • Reading many of the rediculous comments it was the voting public that wanted over 100.000 people signed an online petition to parliement to bring this on how come you don’t whinge when asked for photos for a driving licence bus passes railcards for a bank account when asked to collect parcels at a sorting office is all that the Tory’s fault we had all of them during the opposition years nothing said voter fraud is rife as using dead people’s names you are asked when you arrive to vote are you the person named on the card no questions asked think about it.

      • No idea about this 100,000 people signed a petition-cannot find anything about it online. But even if that were the case why would that small number of people in a nation of nearly 70 million be a reason?

        Do you think if 100,000 people signed one for the return of the death penalty it would be reinstated? Of course not. What is the justification exactly? Only six cases of it at the last election as admitted by Hancock-which they won by a landslide & you call that rife?

        Now they are over 20 points behind they are pulling every trick in the book to stop people that would vote for somebody else having a legal right to vote, or at the very least make it as hard as possible for them/try to deter them.

        Not sure what Sorting Office you use Brian, but I have never been asked for ID at Margate Sorting Office-a bank card or birth certificate is enough, nor have I ever been asked for Photo ID by my bank.

        As for the other two you are asked for a photo & a supporting non-photo document such as a Utility bill or Council tax bill, you are not discriminated against for not having a passport, driving licence etc-even if this wasn’t the case you could still travel on them, you wouldn’t be banned.

        You can now turn up to the polling station with a photo, your NI number, birth certificate, a letter from the council holding the election, your house mortgage deeds, a bank statement etc & it still wouldn’t be enough to prove who you are with these stupid rules.

        Of course fraud still happens in all of these things-including passports & a lot more than it does at elections. We also let three girls aged 15 & 16. not accompanied by adults to board a plane & fly to Turkey & then on to Syria to become terrorists-so much for passports.

      • Brian thats Bollox, voter fraud in the UK just doesn’t happen, because it would just be too complicated to get thousands of people out to vote who don’t exist! There name would be checked against the Electoral Roll, and would be crossed off once the voter has turned up, so it couldn’t be voted on twice! It didn’t work for Trump in the USA, but that didn’t stop him lying that it did, and millions of gullible people believed him rather than the over 60 court cases that proved him wrong, Duuurh! I suspect this was bought in by Johnson, the mini trump!

        • PS. I was once asked by my bank to show my Passport as ID, and I said why, they don’t have my address in it, besides I no longer have a Passport, as my foreign travelling days are behind me, and I never renewed it when it expired years ago!

  3. I applied online. Took about five minutes including taking my photo with my phone. Document arrived in post 4 days later.
    It’s quick, easy and free.

      • it is a card with your photo on it ,read the notice ,if i am right the new photo pass ,is legal for only six months,most likely because the next election ,is what ,two years away,and people’s features change,so a card cannot last for to long

        • theres a document from the gov website, but its not actually on that list, and you are missing the point , the one about tories trying t stop people voting.

          • It’s trying to stop people from using someone else’s voting card. It’s not to stop people voting and proof of identity is required in most countries. Should have been brought in years ago.

        • Funny that Ray, I am pretty sure a passport photo lasts for 10 years. Yet for this poxy ID you have, you say you need a new photo every six months-even though you have a NI number & the government know everything about you via tax returns, universal credit etc. So why do you suddenly need this to prove who you are?

      • It’s the voter ID document which the article is about. Very easy to apply for. Very few details needed.

          • Because in some areas voter fraud has been rife, (Tower Hamlets being the usual example given) it’s neing rolled out abut 2 years before the general election so plenty of time for people to get the hang of it and address any issues that may arise.
            Hopefully its a precirsor for full blown id cards for access to state services etc. It’s way past the time we knew how many people are in the country and how many of those shouldn’t be. One of the main reasons services are underfunded is that there are far more people using them than budgeted for. We’re not going to be able to deport any but the absolute worst of them. It’ll be a chance to reset things and have real numbers for the UKs population. I’d wager there are meary 80 million in the UK than 70m.

    • Why is that Seaside? Six cases of fraud at the last general election-hardly widespread is it?

      Meanwhile-the supposedly legitimate ID’s.

      In 2022, passports remained the most common fake document seen by our customers – the same as our previous 2 years’ analysis. They made up 45% of the total of all fake documents we saw in 2022. This is up 6% on last year’s figure.

      The police force has announced a crackdown on fake IDs, amid concerns that underage teens are using phoney driving licences to get into bars.

      Dyfed-Powys Police is teaming up with licensed premises, local authorities and school liaison officers to tackle the use of fake ID across the force area.

      The use of fake IDs is not a new issue and licensed premises across the force area are currently noticing an increase in this activity. This includes people using fake ID, as well as people using genuine ID belonging to someone else.

      Louise Bradshaw, a licensing officer, said: “Some of the fake ID’s being produced are very good fake driving licences and 16 or 17-year-olds are using these to gain entry into premises. These are often purchased online so it’s important that parents have an awareness and have conversations about what their children are doing online.

  4. I detest the tories,and their , policies,but electoral change will come ,change happens ,if people cannot get to the voting station ,you can still get a postal vote ,it is just people moaning because they don’t floor change of get their own way,same as booking into the local filmmaking it takes a few minutes same as these cards

  5. Remember you can get a postal vote which you can hand in on the day at the appropriate polling station WITHOUT I D

    • I have one & am voting Labour & sending it back every time it comes through the letterbox. Voted Lib Dem in 1997 when I was first eligible & then got so sick of politicians I never voted again. not a big fan of Starmer & would rather Nandy or Phillipson as PM, but at this stage anything is better than more Tories.

  6. This is a solution to a non existent problem.Voter fraud or personation is a tiny problem, which is probably best solved in the few constituencies where it may have been a factor.
    For a party which bangs on about bureaucracy and red tape, it is ironic that yet again our lives have been immeasurably worsened by yet another pointless regulation.
    I remember the fuss that these same individuals and organisations made over Tony Blair’s ID card project.Lots of idiotic references to 1984 and Big Brother, and now 20 years on here they are insisting that our new blue passports, printed in France, are produced in order to vote.Many of these so called ID’s are forged as a matter of course by the criminal fraternity every day.
    All this is going to do is to create difficulties for the council staff at the polling stations.

    • And don’t forget this is the Tory party who always claim not to want to interfere in people’s lives/what they get up to & then spy on them via GCHQ etc, tried to make people buy a licence to watch porn, tell them they have to stay inside their houses, cannot see dying loved ones etc & send the cops out to arrest them if they don’t-while throwing boozy orgies in Downing Street, driving around the country ‘looking for opticians’ at the same time, tells people they cannot strike, tells people they cannot hold peaceful protests & now tells them they cannot vote without an ID.

  7. There are really low levels of voter turnout already, especially for local elections.
    To get more people to vote, we would need to have real differences between the Parties, with real policies that appeal to voters,who would, of course, need to believe that the promises will be kept . And that, once in power, the Party won’t just take big donations from vested interests and fail to do what they promised.
    Right now, we have a government Party, the Tories, floundering around for some big ideas, as their one big idea, Brexit, has come and gone and left rubble in its wake.
    And the main opposition, Labour Party, are just telling us that they will do nothing to rock the boat and that nothing will really change with a Labour government. So you can safely vote for them to change the names in Downing St but not the policies.
    Political change will have to involve a lot more than just voting! I can’t imagine why anyone would expend their energy trying to fiddle some extra votes for either of them.

  8. I don’t see the problem.
    Both my Senior Rail Card and my bus pass need a photo. It was very little effort to get them arranged.
    The biggest threat to our voting system is, I think, not an imposter turning up at a polling station, but people fraudulently registering for postal votes.
    Any way, if you don’t currently have suitable ID, get it sorted by clicking on the link in the OP, or register for a postal vote.
    And please do vote.
    The poor turnout at a recent referendum meant that we left the EU. And now look at the pickle we’re in!

  9. I didnt have photo i.d. before & i’m not getting it now. If they want me to have i.d. they can knock on my door & sort it out.

  10. For those saying Photo ID is so great, we now live in a world of high technology & deep fakes are insanely realistic-there was a recent Neflix documentary also on a guy who created a false mask & conned government officials into believing he was a high ranking French politician & took them for millions.

    The best identification is a legitimate NI number, genuine letters to your house from the government-such as your polling card, councils & banks & an original birth certificate.

    • So if I have a polling card saying “Mr Albert Robinson” I’d be able to vote with it.
      Because there’s no way at all that the clerk at the polling station can tell whether I’m a totally Albert Robinson or Andrew Smith.
      At least, if the polling card carried a photo of Albert, the clerk could tell st a glance that that wasn’t me.

      • Simple-multi-layered security checking. As I have pointed out fake passports & driving licences are also thriving-far more so than prosecutions for voter fraud.

  11. Such a right wing thing to do, try and manipulate the vote when you know you are about to lose. Irony is Brexit vote wouldn’t have happened or photo ID was needed as the sort of demographic this stops from voting is the core Brexit vote.

    Places like Hull and Sunderland will have a much lower turn out due to this.

    The more hoops you put in place the less people voter.

    Much like in America voter fraud is tiny.

    Crackpots believe it’s left candidates that get voter fraud when 99% of the evidence suggests the opposite.

    Got to love the tin hat snowflakes and their project fear….. better than listening to their old Mud LPs though I guess.

    • Farage’s interview with Polly Toynbee is worth a look, the mutual admiration is quite touching. I was shouting “get a room” at the TV!

  12. Think its just a plot to get everyone on a government ID database, thin end of the wedge. i say

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