Everything you need to know about photo ID to vote in the local elections

29 April 2024, 14:47 | Updated: 29 April 2024, 14:49

Voters will need to bring an accepted form of photo ID on May 2.
Voters will need to bring an accepted form of photo ID on May 2. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

People will need to show an accepted form of photo ID to cast their vote at the local elections this Thursday.

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Every voter in England and Wales will be able to cast a ballot in at least one type of election on May 2.

Elections are taking place in 107 authorities across England, where nearly 2,700 council seats are up for grabs and 37 police and crime commissioners across England and Wales will also be chosen.

Additionally, voters will also be able to choose the Mayor of London, London Assembly members and 10 other mayors.

There will be no elections in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

What are the rules on voter ID?

As of May 2023, every voter must bring an accepted form of photo identification in order to vote in most elections.

These elections include:

  • UK general elections
  • all local elections in England, including those for mayors and the London Assembly
  • all local referendums and parliamentary by-elections in England
  • police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales

What are the accepted forms of photo ID?

There are 22 forms of accepted photo ID, these include:

  • driving licenses
  • passports
  • oyster 60+ bus cards
  • older or disabled person’s bus passes

When is voter ID not needed?

You do not need to show ID if you are voting:

  • by post
  • for the Scottish or Welsh Parliament
  • in local elections in Scotland or Wales

Can voters use out of date photo ID?

A photo ID that is out of date can still be used, providing the photo still looks like you.

The name on the ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.

Why do voters need photo ID?

Photo ID rules were brought in as part of the Elections Act 2022, with the Government saying they are necessary to combat the risk of in-person voter fraud.

The requirements were first enforced at last year's local elections in England.

Between 2019 and 2023, there were 1,462 cases of alleged electoral fraud reported to the police, according to the Electoral Commission.

In 2023, 342 cases were investigated by the police. One case resulted in a conviction.

Will voters be turned away if they don’t have photo ID?

Yes - about 14,000 people, about 0.25% of voters, were unable to vote in the May 2023 elections due to the new rules.

Polling station staff are legally required to record the number of people that cannot vote because they do not have valid ID - including those who are turned away and return with the correct ID later.