July 4 General Election: How do you register to vote, when's the deadline and do you need ID?

There will be a General Election in July Credit: PA

Voters will head to the polls in July after Rishi Sunak called a General Election, saying it was “the moment for Britain to choose its future”.

The upcoming election on July 4 will be the first UK General Election where all voters will have to show a valid form of photo ID before casting a ballot.

How do you register to vote, when is the deadline and what sort of ID do you need to have? ITV News explains.

How do you vote?

The polls will open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday July 4.

People who have not yet registered to vote, or are not sure if they are eligible, have until June 18 to submit an application, or June 19 if you want to vote by post.

This can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Anyone who wants to apply for a proxy vote – in other words, for someone to vote on your behalf – will have until June 26 to apply.

What happens next?

If you intend on voting in person you will receive a polling card in the post that will tell you where to go. You will only be allowed to vote at the address given on your card.

You can opt to vote by post if you're away from home or you're abroad and wanting to vote in England, Scotland and Wales.

If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote.

You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including: being away on polling day, being registered as an overseas voter, having a medical issue or disability, and not being able to vote in person because of work or military service.

Your proxy should be someone you trust to vote on your behalf. You’ll need to tell them which candidate you want to vote for.


Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every week Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…


What sort of ID is accepted?

For the first time in a General Election, everyone must show photo ID when voting in person in England, Scotland and Wales.

The photo on your ID must look like you and you can still use your ID even if it has expired, according to the government's website. Anyone voting on behalf of someone else, will still need to bring their own ID.

The types of photo ID accepted include:

  • UK passport or a passport issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or a Commonwealth country

  • UK or Northern Ireland photocard driving licence (full or provisional) or a driving licence issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands

  • PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme)

  • Blue Badge

  • biometric residence permit (BRP)

  • Defence Identity Card (MOD form 90)

  • national identity card issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

  • Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card

  • Voter Authority Certificate

  • Anonymous Elector’s Document

You can also use one of the following travel passes as photo ID when you vote:

  • older person’s bus pass

  • disabled person’s bus pass

  • Oyster 60+ card

  • Freedom Pass

  • Scottish National Entitlement Card (NEC)

  • 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card

  • Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card

  • Northern Ireland concessionary travel pass

What if someone has changed their name?

The name on your ID must match your name on the electoral register. If it doesn't, you’ll need to either:

  • register to vote again with your new details

  • take a document with you to vote that proves you’ve changed your name (for example, a marriage certificate)

What happens if someone doesn't have ID?

Anyone who doesn't have an accepted form of ID will have to apply for a free ‘Voter Authority Certificate’. To do this, you will need to apply online or by post and provide:

  • a recent, digital photo of yourself

  • National Insurance number - If you do not have a National Insurance number, you’ll need to provide other documents to prove your identity, for example a birth certificate, bank statement and utility bill.

The Voter Authority Certificate cannot be used in Northern Ireland.


Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...