How do I know if I’m registered to vote?

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Local elections will get underway across the UK this Thursday, May 6, after being postponed from last year due to the coronavirus crisis. This year’s local elections will be held this Thursday, May 6. Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm in all areas of the UK.

Being registered to vote is important for a number of reasons – and it’s not just for exercising your democratic rights.

Being on the electoral register can help you with a number of things – such as getting a passport, passing landlord checks, opening credit accounts, and more.

You need to re-register to vote every time you move – whether that be in renting accommodation or if you own your own home.

You can register to vote in the UK if you are 16 or over, though many elections require you to be 18 or over to cast a vote.

How do I know if I am registered to vote?

There is unfortunately no easy online checking service to see if you are eligible to vote at your current address.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you should contact your local Electoral Registration Office to see if you are on the electoral roll.

One way to check is if you are on the open register – but this can be opted out of, so if you can’t find yourself on it, it doesn’t mean you aren’t registered to vote.

You can also check your most recent credit report – but in some instances, you may have to pay to do this.

When national or local elections come around, if you are registered you will receive a polling card from your local authority.

If you do not receive a polling card, it could be because you are not registered to vote at your current address.

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How do I register to vote?

You can register to vote online, by phone or by post.

The easiest way is to register using the GOV.UK website, and it only takes around five minutes.

You only need to register once, unless you have changed your address, in which case you will need to reregister.

Your details will automatically be removed from where you were previously living.

You must also be one of the following:

• a British citizen
• an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK
• a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
• a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission

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