The importance of registering to vote
With the news of a possible general election in December, it’s important to make sure you register to vote in time so that you can have your say. It only takes a few minutes, so make sure you don’t miss out.
By registering to vote you’re adding yourself to the electoral roll. As a student, this will really help proofing your financial status to help with contracts such as mobile phones, credit cards and for renting property or rooms within shared houses.
Students are able to register to vote at both their home and term-time addresses. If your home and uni address are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections at both. However, in general elections, you’ll only be able to vote in one.
If you’re not sure if you’re already registered to vote, you can check by getting in touch with your local authority. Enter your postcode to find your local electoral registration office, and contact them directly.
If it turns out you’re not on the electoral roll, register to vote in England, Scotland, and Wales. Registering online only takes about three minutes, so there are no excuses!
We’ve put a short FAQ together with some commonly asked questions about registering to vote.
Who can vote?
If you are 18 or over and a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland who is resident in the UK, you are eligible to vote in UK elections. You will need to register to be able to vote in elections and referendums.
Did you know that it is a legal duty in the UK for adults to register to vote, and you can also register to vote at both your home and student address?
What do I need to vote?
You will be asked for your National Insurance (NI) number to register. If you do not have this or can’t remember it then you can state this using the option ‘I do not know my NI number’. You will be asked to provide a copy of your driving licence or passport in order to complete the registration. To ensure you are contacted promptly, please provide your email address when applying otherwise any all correspondence will be via post which can significantly slow down your application.
Additionally, by registering for your NI number, this will allow you to work (full or part-time), claim for benefits or to apply for a student loan. Call 0300 200 3502 or visit the gov.uk website to get this.
I’ve moved address since I registered
If you have moved since you last registered to vote, or will have changed your address by the next election, you should register again. You can also change any personal details that may have changed.
I’m not sure where I will be for the general election
Did you know that you can apply for a postal or proxy vote?
If you know you will be away on the date of an election, or have difficulty travelling to a polling station, voting by proxy means someone can vote on your behalf. Again, if you know you will be away from home or out of the country, you can also apply for a postal vote.