Voting at a polling station

From May 2023 you will be required to show an official form of photographic identification (ID) when you vote in person at a polling station, a list of acceptable ID documents is included below.

The next scheduled elections are Mayor of London and London Assembly (GLA) elections on 2 May 2024.

If you own an accepted form of photographic ID but it has expired it can still be used, as long as the photograph is still a good likeness of you.

Acceptable forms of ID will include:

  • 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 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)
  • 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

No suitable Photo ID - apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC)

If you do not have any of the accepted forms of ID, you will be able to apply online for a free Voter Authority Certificate - this is a photographic identity document specifically for the purpose of voting.

Apply for photo ID to vote

The application service for Voter Authority Certificates went live on Monday 16 January 2023. If you need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, make sure you do so in good time ahead of it being required at the polling station.

Alternatively, you can complete a paper application form. If you need any help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request an application form, please contact or call the Elections team on 020 3045 3615.

Voters who do not produce a Voter Authority Certificate, or valid photo identification will not be allowed to vote on the day.

If you are eligible to vote at a polling station, you will be sent a poll card which will inform you of the date of the election, where your polling station is and the hours of poll.

Poll cards are normally delivered to all registered electors around three weeks before an election, usually before the deadline for applications for postal or proxy votes. The poll card is for information only. Don't worry if you lose it or forget it - you can still vote without it, although it will help the staff at the polling station if you take it with you, but you must provide your Photographic ID.

When you get to the polling station

Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station. If you have a poll card it will help the staff, but you will still be asked to confirm your name and address and show your Photographic ID. It does not matter if you have forgotten your poll card, as you will still be able to vote if you are registered and have shown your photographic ID.

When your details have been verified, you will be given a ballot paper, which you should take to a polling booth. A mark will be made against the register to show that you have voted. You will not be able to vote again in the same election.

Polling booths are provided to allow you to cast your vote in secrecy. If you need help to mark your ballot paper, e.g., because you are blind, you can either ask the presiding officer to help you or you can take a companion to the polling station with you. You must inform the presiding officer if you wish to do this as he or she will need to make a record of the number of votes not marked by the elector - this is to protect against fraud.

There will be a notice in the polling booth indicating how many candidates you can vote for. If you vote for more candidates than you are entitled to, your vote will not be counted.

After casting your vote, you should fold the ballot paper and place it in the ballot box, which will be situated next to the staff working at the polling station.