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Electoral services

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13. Voter identification

Voter ID at Polling Stations

Following the passing of the Elections Act 2022, from the Exeter City Council elections due on 4 May 2023, individuals who wish to vote in person, including those acting as a proxy on behalf of another individual, will be required to produce an accepted form of photographic ID to prove their identity before they can be issued with a ballot paper.

This will apply at:

  • UK parliamentary by-elections 
  • Recall petitions
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections
  • Local government elections in England

The requirement for voter ID to be provided at UK Parliamentary General elections will only take effect for polls after 5 October 2023.

Some of the accepted forms of photographic ID are:

  • a passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state, or a Commonwealth country
  • a photographic driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
  • a biometric immigration document
  • an identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • a Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • a Blue Badge
  • a national identity card issued by an EEA state
  • an Older Person’s Bus Pass
  • a Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
  • an Oyster 60+ Card
  • a Freedom Pass


Original documents are required, not copies or scanned images.

Please see this full list of accepted photo ID.

Expired photographic identification documents can still be used as accepted photographic ID at the polling station, as long as the photograph is still a good likeness of the elector.

See further information about Voter ID from the Electoral Commission.


No suitable Photo ID?

Where an individual does not have any of these accepted forms of photographic ID, they can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. This is a document containing an elector’s name and photograph which can be obtained free of charge from the Government Voter ID portal, following verification of an applicant’s identity.

You can apply online for a Voter Authority Certificate online.

The Voter Authority Certificate cannot be used as proof of identity for any other purpose than for voting. Once issued, the Voter Authority Certificate can be retained for use at future elections.

The deadline for applying for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm 6 working days before polling day. Voters who do not produce valid photo ID, or a Voter Authority Certificate, will not be allowed to vote on the day.

If you require further assistance please contact us.

Please see our video about how to make sure the photo you supply for your Voter ID is suitable.


Postal and Proxy Voters

Postal voters will not be affected and will be issued with their postal ballot papers as usual.

If you choose to vote by proxy then the person who you have trusted to vote on your behalf will have to take their own identification to be issued with a ballot paper.

Anonymous electors wishing to vote in person will also need to produce photographic ID. Due to their entry on the polling station register being linked to their electoral number, rather than their name, the only accepted form of photographic ID for an anonymous elector will be an Anonymous Elector’s Document. This is a document containing an anonymous elector’s elector number and photograph which can be obtained free of charge from Electoral Services, following verification of an applicant’s identity. 


Which countries are in the Commonwealth, Channel Islands, European Union (EU), and the European Economic Area (EEA)? 

Countries in the EU and EEA.

Commonwealth member countries.