An illustration of a purple sticky note with the word "You now need photo ID to vote at a polling station"
Photo ID will now be required at polling stations to be able to vote

Voters will need photo ID to take part in May’s election

Following recent changes to national electoral legislation, at the 2023 local elections, and for the first time, residents voting across the country, including Hull, will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections.

Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID.

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online at Voter Authority Certificate – GOV.UK or by completing a paper form.

The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID, at

Matt Jukes, Returning Officer for Hull City Council said:

“With elections taking place in Hull on Thursday 4 May, it is really important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of photographic identification. It may seem early to be thinking about this, but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.

“The council is committed to ensuring that all those able to vote can do so and is developing its own optional resident scheme which will help residents who do not have an accepted form of ID to vote. It is hoped the ID will also to make interactions with the council more efficient. 

“In the meantime, residents who do not have an official form of photo ID can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) now. Anyone needing help and support to complete the application can visit our customer service centres.”

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, said:

“Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper.

“It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use and how to apply for free ID if they need it.

“You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.”

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at

Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station is a new requirement introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May. 

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