The Elections Act 2022

The Elections Act is a new piece of legislation that makes amendments to the current voting and registering system.

The Elections Act 2022 was granted Royal Assent and passed into law on 28 April 2022. Further detail will be covered in secondary legislation, developed in the upcoming months. The new legislation will include absent voting rules, EU citizens' voting rights, accessibility, voter identification and 'votes for life' for overseas electors.

The Elections Act will be implemented in stages.

The first stage of the Act, which includes voter photo identification for in-person voting, will come into place for the Thursday 4 May 2023 election.

The other stages of the Act will be implemented at later dates and will include absent voting rules, EU citizens' voting rights and 'votes for life' for overseas electors.

We will regularly update this page as new parts of the Act are introduced.

ID at the polling station

Electors voting at polling stations will need to show photographic identification before being issued a ballot paper.

The Elections Act sets out in Schedule 1 the list of photographic identification documents that will be accepted. This list, for elections in England, is replicated below. The Act also makes provision for the list to be amended in future if necessary.

Accepted documents:

  • A United Kingdom passport
  • A passport issued by an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • A licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under (i) Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, or (ii) the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (SI 1981/154 (N.I. 1))
  • A driving licence issued by any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state
  • A biometric immigration document issued in accordance with regulations under section 5 of the UK Borders Act 2007
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
  • A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • A badge of a form prescribed under section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 or section 14 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 (blue badge scheme)
  • An electoral identity document issued under section 13BD (electoral identity document: Great Britain)
  • An anonymous elector’s document issued under section 513BE (anonymous elector’s document: Great Britain) the holder of which has an anonymous entry at the time of the application for a ballot paper
  • A national identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Any of the following concessionary travel passes funded by the UK Government:
  • Older Person's Bus Pass
    • Disabled Person's Bus Pass
    • Oyster 60+ Card
    • Freedom Pass

Please note expired ID will be accepted provided the photo is still a good likeness to the elector.

For more information, please see our Voter ID page.

Voter Authority Certificate

If an elector cannot provide photographic ID then they can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (Voter Cert). Electors can apply for this certificate online or by paper from January 2023.

This is a certificate that will act as your ID to allow you to vote in polling stations. If you have one of the accepted IDs then you do not need to apply. The certificate is free and you will not be charged for applying. The certificate will be for use solely for the purpose of voting and is not intended as either an identity card or a proof of age card.

You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online. For a paper form, to be sent in the post or collected at our offices, please contact

Electors can apply for this Voter Authority Certificate from 16 January 2023.

For more information, please visit our Voter ID webpage.

Future Changes

Overseas electors

The Elections Act 2022 will change the franchise for overseas electors. It is the first legislative step towards removing the 15-year limit on overseas electors being able to vote in UK Parliamentary elections and allowing British citizens overseas who were previously registered or previously resident in the UK to apply to register to vote.

This part of the Elections Act has not been implemented yet. Currently only Overseas electors who were registered in the last 15 years are eligible to register so you should not apply now if you have lived outside the UK for 15 years or over. Once the legislation has been passed, applications will open to all British citizens previously registered or resident in the UK.

The government expects that the changes to the franchise for overseas electors will be in place ahead of polls in spring 2024.

Once the extended franchise is in place, a number of communications channels will be used to ensure that British citizens living abroad are aware of the extension of their voting rights, and how to apply to register to vote if they wish to. This will include specific communications activities targeting overseas residents who have been added to the franchise to raise awareness of their additional rights and of how to participate in future elections. The Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office will also provide information on the changes when relevant via their 'living in' guide.

Postal and Proxy votes

The Elections Act will ban political parties and campaigners from handling postal votes. There will be a limit on the number of postal votes that a person can hand in at a polling station.

Postal voters will be required to have their identity verified when applying to vote by post and must make a fresh application every three years, instead of the current five yearly signature refresh.

The date for the changes has not been confirmed.

Find out more information about the Elections Act on GOV.UK website

Sign up for email updates

Receive information on council services, news and events by email.

© 2023 Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council