Get ahead of the crowd with Premium
Register Forgot password

How to Get Free Photo ID to Vote

Annie 24th May 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 24th May 2024

The next General Election has been announced for Thursday 4th July 2024. UK voters will be required to show photographic ID before they can vote. While most people will have some form of accepted photo ID, there will still be many who won’t – or they can’t afford to pay for the relevant ID document. This quick-look guide tells you everything you need to know about photo ID for voting in the UK.

Why Do I Need Photo ID?

What Photo ID Can I Use to Vote?

How to Get Free Photo ID to Vote


Why Do I Need Photo ID?

Photographic ID has been introduced to combat voting fraud, although in the last election, there were only 33 cases of suspected in-person voting fraud – out of 58 million votes.. This is a controversial move by the Government, as it will put lower income people at a disadvantage. For example, a valid UK passport is accepted ID but these come at a cost of over £100. Even the Government’s own research concluded that voter ID requirements would negatively impact the ability for people to vote if they are from lower socio-economic backgrounds without qualifications, those who are unemployed, and people with severe disabilities, especially as many of them won’t have any form of photographic ID.

Regardless of your opinion on whether voting ID is a good or bad idea, you will need one for voting in person at a polling station. Your ID must match your registered name, i.e., the one on your polling card, and the photo must be a similar enough likeness that it is clearly you. So, try not to use a driving license with that 15-year-old photo you snuck in on your last licence renewal in case you get turned away!

What Photo ID Can I Use to Vote?

For England, Scotland, and Wales, there are a number of types of photo ID that are accepted by polling stations for in-person voting.

  • A full or provisional UK photocard driving licence
  • A photocard driving licence from the EU, Channel Islands, Norway, Lichtenstein, Isle of Man or Iceland (if you are eligible to vote)
  • A UK passport or
  • A passport or national identity card issued by an EU country, Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland, or a Commonwealth country (and you’re eligible to vote)
  • A Defence Identity Card
  • A Blue Badge
  • A Biometric Resident Permit (BRP)
  • An identity document with the PASS hologram
  • An Anonymous Elector’s Document
  • An older person’s or disabled person’s bus pass
  • An Oyster 60+ card (other Oyster cards are not accepted)
  • A Scottish National Entitlement Card
  • A 60 and Over or Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • A Freedom Pass

In Northern Ireland, you can use:

  • A photocard driving licence from the UK, Ireland, or EEA (provisional or full)
  • A passport issued by the UK or Ireland (EU passports are not accepted for UK Parliamentary elections)
  • Translink SmartPass: Half Fare, 60+, Senior, War Disablement/War Disabled, Registered Blind / Blind Person’s SmartPass
  • A Biometric Immigration Document

Your address does not have to match between these documents and your current address – the ID is for your identity check and not an address check. You only need photo ID if you are voting in person – it is not required for postal votes or voting by proxy (which is when you get someone else to go to the polling station for you, usually due to a medical emergency or disability, or if your employment prevents you from getting to a polling station during opening hours).

Your photo ID does not need to be in date, you just have to look like your photograph on it.

How to Get Free ID to Vote

If you don’t have any of those forms of ID, or you don’t look like the photo on your accepted ID anymore, don’t panic – but you must act NOW to be able to vote in the General Election on 4th July 2024.

Apply for a Photo ID Authority Voter Certificate at least six working days before the General Election (so by Wednesday 26th June at the latest).

If you live in Northern Ireland, you must apply for an Electoral Identity Card.

Want to Apply for a Postal Vote?

Postal votes don’t need photo ID and are ideal if you are going to be away from your home address on the date of the General Election on 4th July 2024.

You need to apply for a postal vote by 5pm Wednesday 19th June 2024, and you must be registered to vote by 11.59pm on Tuesday 18th June 2024.

You will receive a postal vote pack which includes instructions on how to cast your vote. Once you’ve filled out your voting card and put it in the supplied envelope, you or a trusted representative (who cannot be a political party member or candidate) can take it to the Post Office to post. If you are unable to post it in time, you or your representative can take it to the local polling station on the day of the election by 10pm.

Remember that if you are away you can also ask someone to vote for you in person by proxy, if you prefer.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

Send this to a friend