Voter Authority Certificates

Voter Authority Certificates and Anonymous Elector Documents

The Elections Act 2022 has introduced a new requirement for voters to show photo identification before voting in person in a polling station.

From Thursday 4 May 2023, voters in Scotland will need to show photo ID in some elections, namely UK Parliamentary by-elections and recall petitions.  From October 2023 it will also apply to UK General elections.  If you have a postal vote, there is no need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. Identification is only required if you intend to vote in person at a polling station.  If you are a registered postal voter and wish instead to vote in person, you will need to cancel your postal vote before you can vote in person at a polling station.  Further information on how to cancel your postal vote can be found here.

If you don’t have any acceptable photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.  A list of acceptable photo ID can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website. Expired identification can be used as long as you are still recognisable from your photo.

You can apply for a certificate here or alternatively, we can arrange to send a paper application form to you.  Application forms are also available in large print, braille or easy read format.  Please let us know if you require a form in one of these formats. We can accept e-mail photos, however, please note that we are unable to accept e-mails that are larger than 50mb (51200kB).

We can also arrange for you to make an application at one of our offices.  Please e-mail us at [email protected] or call us on 0800 393 783 to make an appointment or to request a paper application form.

Voter Authority Certificates will be posted to your address on your application.  Certificates will only be available for in-person collection where a specified reason is given.

Anonymous electors wishing to vote in person will need to produce an Anonymous Elector’s Document as their photographic ID. Anonymous electors cannot use other forms of photographic ID.  Anonymous electors will still also be required to produce their poll card when voting in person or signing a petition.  The Electoral Registration Officer will notify any anonymous electors of the need to apply for an Anonymous Elector’s Document when they are due to renew their registration.

An easy read guide on anonymous elector’s documents can be found here.

Further information on applying for a Voter Authority Certificate can be found here or by scanning the QR code below:

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

Uses of a Voter Authority Certificate

The Voter Authority Certificate will be for use 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.