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How to register to vote: Do I need to register again? Am I already registered? Everything you need to know

Make sure you are registered to vote to have your say in the upcoming general election

Rachael Pells
Tuesday 18 April 2017 13:10 BST
A man walks past a polling station in Guisborough on 7 May 2015
A man walks past a polling station in Guisborough on 7 May 2015 (Getty)

The time left for UK voters to register for the upcoming general election is fast disappearing.

Eligible voters have until 23:59 BST on Monday 22 May to register online, and postal vote applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 23 May.

More than two million people have joined the register in the past month, including some 700,000 people under the age of 25.

The highest number of applications so far was on 18 April, the day the prime minister announcement the snap election would take place on June 8.

The latest official figures published in March show that 45.7m people were registered to vote in a general election as of 1 December 2016.

The Electoral Commission estimates as many as seven million people are still at risk of dropping off the register before the deadline, however.

In a shock announcement outside Downing Street last month, the Prime Minister said: ”‘I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election.’

A poll conducted for The Independent just days before the announcement showed the Conservatives 21 points ahead of Labour, as Jeremy Corbyn's party continues to languish in the polls.

Last month the Government was accused of deliberately obstructing young and poor people from voting, by bringing in rules to prevent those without a permanent residence from registering to vote online.

Meanwhile, Britons living abroad can now register more easily and vote in UK elections - a move which has been met with fierce criticism, since many of those expats are pensioners, who are more likely to vote Conservative than any other group.

Make sure your vote is counted in the General Election by registering to vote. Here’s how:

Am I eligible to vote?

You can vote in the referendum if you’re registered and are 18 or over on the day of the vote. You must be one of the following:

• A British citizen living in the UK

• A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK

• A British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years

• An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years

How do I register?

If you registered to vote in last year’s local and mayoral elections, you may not need to re-register. The deadline to register is 22 May, 17 days before the election.

You have


left to register

Otherwise, you can register online here:

You will need your National Insurance number and your passport.

Note: If you’ve moved home since the last time you voted, then you will need to re-register at your new property.

You can still register to vote even if you do not have a fixed address. This may be because you are:

  • A hospital patient
  • Homeless
  • A merchant seaman
  • Part of the gypsy or travelling community
  • Living on a boat or other moveable residence
  • A person remanded in custody

If you do not have a permanent address, you can register at an address where you spend a substantial part of your time or have some connection. This could be a previously permanent address, shelter or similar place.

You can register by filling in a form called a 'Declaration of local connection', which can be downloaded here.

There are two forms - one for people in England and Wales and one for those living in Scotland. Alternatively, you can get the form from your local electoral registration office.

Still not convinced you’re registered?

Every local authority holds the electoral register for their area. You can contact your local registration office and they will be able to let you know if you are registered.

To find the contact details of your local office, enter your postcode here on the Electoral Commission’s website.

I’m registered, now how do I vote?

You can vote in the General Election come June 8 in the following ways:

  • In person at your local polling station – you can find the location on the Electoral Commission’s website closer to voting day.
  • By post, or by proxy

Details of the nearest polling station will most likely be shown to you on the back of your polling card, which you’ll receive in the post.

In England, Scotland and Wales, you can register to vote by post if you’re unable to vote in person on the day.

For a postal vote you will need to download a form and send it to your local registration office (mentioned above).

Your local council will then send you a ballot paper by post, which you will need to send back. This must done done in advance – all postal vote requests need to arrive at the office a few days before the election.

Can someone else vote for me?

If you can’t vote by either of these methods, you can apply to vote by proxy - allowing somebody you trust to submit your vote on your behalf.

This can be due to a disability, or if you’re abroad, or away on a course for work or university.

After completing the right form, you'll need to print it, sign it, and send it back to your local electoral registration office. The deadline is usually 5pm, six working days before the poll.

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