Introduction of photo ID for local elections

Published: Wed 25th January, 2023

Residents in Charnwood are being urged to check they have an accepted form of photo ID ahead of this year’s local elections on Thursday May 4, 2023.

The new requirement of showing photo ID at polling stations is being introduced by the UK Government and comes into effect for the first time this May.

Voters across England will be required to show an accepted form of photo ID when voting at polling stations for local elections.

Residents without one of the suitable forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID called a Voter Authority Certificate which can only be used for elections. Applications can be made online through the GOV.UK website or by completing a paper form.

A paper form is available to download and print from the Charnwood Borough Council website. Alternatively, residents can request the form is sent to them via post by contacting the elections team on or by calling 01509 634546.

Those who require a Voter Authority Certificate are being encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday April 25, 2023. Residents should first make sure they are registered to vote before applying.

Elections are being held in Charnwood for the borough council as well as some town and parish councils.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, added:“Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May 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 free ID 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.”

Rob Mitchell, Returning Officer at Charnwood Borough Council added: “With elections taking place in Charnwood later this year, it is important that residents planning to have their say at a polling station make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote on May 4.

“If you do not have suitable photo ID, you can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending it to our electoral services team. If you need help with applying or want to request an application form, please get in touch with us.”

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA drivers’ 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 ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

Residents are advised to check the list of accepted ID carefully as some forms of photo ID, such as security passes issued by employers, will not be accepted.

A list of accepted ID is available on the Council’s website, along with more information about the new requirement, frequently asked questions and details of how to apply for the free ID. For more information, visit

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new requirement introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year.

There is also information about the introduction of Voter ID on the Electoral Commission website at

To stay in the loop with the latest news and information about the May 2023 local elections, sign-up for the Council’s email alerts by visiting