What is the electoral register?
The electoral register is the list of everyone who is registered to vote at UK Parliamentary, Scottish Government and Local Government elections. You must be on the register to vote.
How do I register to vote?
You can register to vote on-line by clicking here. It is very quick and easy. Remember, you will need to have your national insurance number and date of birth to hand when you register.
Alternatively you can contact the electoral registration office by telephone and an application form will be posted to you. You will need to supply your date of birth and national insurance number with your application form.
When should I register?
You can register at any time.
The register of electors is updated and a new version published each year. However, if you are not already listed on the register or if you want to be registered at a new address, you can apply at any time to have your name included. You can register as soon as you move to a new address.
Additions and deletions to the register can be made every month. Applications have to be made at the beginning of the month in order to be included on the updated register published the following month or during the annual canvass of households.
Please note that in the run up to an election you will only be able to vote at that election if your name has been added to the register of electors up to 12 working days before the date of the election.
Who can register to vote?
To be included on the register you must:-
- be resident at a qualifying address in the area
- be a British, or other Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or of another member state of the European Union
- a foreign national who has leave to enter or remain in the UK or who does not require such leave can register to vote but is only eligible to vote in Scottish Parliament and Scottish Local Government elections if aged 16 or over on date of the poll
- a convicted prisoner serving a sentence of 12 months or less can register to vote but is only eligible to vote in Scottish Parliament and Scottish Local Government elections if aged 16 or over on date of the poll
- not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote (age apart)
- be aged 16 years or over. You can apply if you will become 18 years of age before the register is next revised in the autumn but you will not be able vote in a UK Parliament election until you are 18 years of age
- From 5 April 2016, an elector aged 16 or over on date of the poll can vote at Scottish parliamentary elections
- From 5 May 2016, an elector aged 16 or over on date of the poll can vote in Scottish Local Government elections
If you are a British citizen living outside the United Kingdom, and you satisfy the conditions set out below, you may register as an overseas elector. This will enable you to vote at Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections in the UK (if you are a peer you will be entitled to vote only at European Parliamentary elections).
You must be a British citizen. You must also satisfy one set of the following two sets of conditions:
Set 1: (for those who were registered as electors before leaving the UK, within the last 15 years)
- your name was included in a register of parliamentary electors in respect of an address in the UK,
- that entry in the register was made on the basis that you were resident, or to be treated for the purposes of registration as resident, at that address,
- that entry in the register was in force at any time falling within the period of 15 years ending immediately before the date of your application, and
- Subsequent to that entry ceasing to have effect no entry was made in any register of parliamentary electors on the basis that you were resident, or to be treated for the purposes of registration as resident, at any other address.
All of the conditions in the set must be met.
Set 2: (for those who were too young to be registered as electors before leaving the UK, within the last 15 years)
- you were last resident in the United Kingdom within the period of 15 years ending immediately before the date of your application,
- you were by reason only of your age incapable of being included in any register of parliamentary electors in force on the last day on which you were resident in the United Kingdom, and
- The address at which you were resident on that day was situated within the constituency concerned and your parent or guardian was included, in respect of that address, in a register of parliamentary electors or a register of local government electors in force on that day.
All of the conditions in the set must be met.
If you would like to register as an overseas elector, contact the Electoral Registration Office for further details and an application form.
Crown servants and members of the forces
There are separate arrangements for registering Crown servants and members of the armed forces serving abroad. Contact the Electoral Registration Office for details and an application form.