Hounslow residents need photo identification to vote at elections

Residents in the London Borough of Hounslow will need to show photo identification to vote at future elections.

Published: Monday, 16th January 2023

You need photo ID to vote at elections.
You need photo ID to vote at elections.

For the first time, residents in the London Borough of Hounslow will need to show photo identification to vote at future elections. Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready for the change by checking they have an accepted form of identification.

Accepted forms of identification include a British, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a British, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or an EEA state driving licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. Voters will be able to use expired identification if they are still recognisable from the photo.

This national, legal requirement applies to:

•         All local government elections, Parliamentary by-elections and recall petitions from 4 May 2023

•         All Parliamentary elections after 5 October 2023

Please note, the London Borough of Hounslow does not have any local elections scheduled this year, but a general election or by-election could be called at any time.

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of identification will be able to apply for free identification online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate or by completing a paper form.

The full list of accepted identification is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free identity document, at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, said:

“Anyone voting at a polling station in England from now 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 a Voter Authority Certificate 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."

Niall Bolger, Chief Executive Officer of Hounslow Borough Council, said:

“Although we don’t have any elections scheduled for Hounslow this year, the new rules will apply to Parliamentary elections from October and these can be called at any time. We want everyone to be able to have their say when we have an election, so please don’t leave it to the last minute. Check now whether you have valid ID and if you don’t, make sure you apply for one soon. If you need any help with applying for free ID or completing an application form, or want to request an application form, contact the Electoral Services team on 0208 583 2828 elections@hounslow.gov.uk.”

As always, anyone who wants to have their say in all future elections must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Voters wishing to apply to their council for identification should first make sure they are registered to vote.

The requirement to show photo identification at the polling station, is a new requirement, introduced by the Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May. 

rating button