Register to vote

Make sure you have your say – use your right to vote.  If you don’t you will lose your chance to influence the way things are run in the country.

You can vote:

  • When you're 18 and have registered to vote.
  • You also need to be a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen.

Remember you can only vote at elections if your name appears in the Register of Electors. If you're not sure if you are registered to vote, complete our online form and we will check your details.

How do you register?

You can register on line at or apply to the elections office for a form.

  • You can register at 16 years of age or over (as the Register of Electors runs from 1st December to 30th November every year we need the dates of birth of persons just under 18 to make sure they are on the Register in time for them to vote).  Although your name may appear on the Register of Electors before you are 18 you will not be allowed to vote until you are 18.
  • You must be a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen
  • It is a legal requirement to register to vote
  • It is not compulsory to vote but it is to register to vote
  • You must register annually
  • If you apply for credit, credit reference agencies can use the register to check your details and if you are not registered you may be refused credit.


As a student, you can register at your term-time address and at your home address - so whether you're at university or at home, if you're registered, you can vote on election day.  You can't vote twice in a UK Parliamentary or National Assembly for Wales election. But you can vote in local government elections at home and at your term-time address, as long as they are not in the same local government area.

What happens next?

The information we receive on the registration forms returned from each household is then transferred into a list and is called the Electoral Register.  The 2018 register was published and came into force on 1 December 2017. There are two variations of this register one is called the full register and the other is the open register.

The full register is everyone who is registered to vote.  It is used for elections and by certain organisations to check credit applications and to stop crime. The open register is some of the people who are registered to vote.  You can choose if you want to be on this register or not by ticking a box on the registration form that’s sent to your home.  Anyone can purchase this register and use it for whatever purpose.

Updating the electoral register

Every year, we write to all the properties on our database and ask you to complete a form so we know who needs to be added to or removed from the Register of Electors. We usually do this in the autumn, so that we can publish our new register in December. Completing this form doesn’t mean you’ve registered to vote. It's important to provide the information requested. There is a criminal penalty for failing to provide the information of a maximum of a £1000.

Register to vote  Check if you're registered to vote!

Page updated on: 03/04/2018