Voter Authority Certificates

Voters in Scotland need to show photo ID to vote at polling places in some elections.

This applies to UK parliamentary elections, including general elections, by-elections and recall petitions.

Voters in Scotland will not need to show photo ID at Scottish Parliament elections or at council elections.


What ID can I use?

There is a large list of accepted forms of ID.  It is likely that most voters will already have an accepted form of ID.

Check whether you have an Accepted form of photo ID.


I don’t have an accepted form of ID – what can I do?

You can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if:

  • you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID
  • you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you
  • you’re worried about using an existing form of ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker


How do I get a Voter Authority Certificate?


If you think you will need a Voter Authority Certificate please apply now. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

We must receive your application by 5pm, 6 working days before polling day.


You can apply online – Apply for photo ID to vote (called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’)

The information you need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance Number

You will also be required to upload a suitable photograph.

You must be registered to vote first before you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.  You can register to vote at

If you have a postal vote arrangement in place there is no need to apply for a certificate.

Anonymous electors wishing to vote in person are required to show an Anonymous Elector’s Document as their photographic ID as well as their poll card. Anonymous electors cannot use other forms of photographic ID.

The Voter Authority Certificate is solely for the purpose of voting in person at a polling station and it not intended as either an identity document or a proof of age document.

For full details on Voter ID and how to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate go to the Electoral Commission website:

All data you provide when applying for a certificate will be stored securely in line with data protection regulations.