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Memo to self – remember to bring photo ID to vote this May

27 February 2023

Don’t forget that you need photo ID to vote at polling stations at local elections this May.

You might want to stick a post-it note on your fridge to remind you. For the first time, in elections across England on 4 May, approved photographic ID will need to be shown to vote in person. 

Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May, by checking via the Electoral Commission website that they have an accepted form of ID. 

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; UK or EEA driver’s licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo. Please note that a Commonwealth driver’s licence is not acceptable.

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online via the website, or by completing a paper form, before the deadline of 25 April.

The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID.

Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. 

You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.

Lorraine O'Donnell -  USE portrait web 310x570Dr Lorraine O’Donnell, Returning Officer at Cheshire East Council and its chief executive, said: “With local elections taking place on 4 May 2023, it’s vital that those who want to vote in person ensure they have an acceptable form of ID. May might seem a long way off, but checking now means you will be ready to vote on polling day. 

“Alternatively, people can vote by postal ballot, which does not require photo ID.

“Eligible voters who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to Cheshire East Council’s electoral services team, by the deadline of 25 April. 

“If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team on 0300 123 5016 or email:

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May, must also be registered to vote. If you are not sure whether you are already registered to vote, call 0300 123 5016 to check. You do not need to reapply to register to vote if you are already registered. 

If you are not already registered, it only takes five minutes to register online on the website. Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote. 

Alternatively, eligible voters can vote by post. It is easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new requirement, introduced by the UK government’s Elections Act 2022, which comes into effect for the first time this May.