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Voter photo ID


Voters are now required to show photographic identification (photo ID) at polling stations before they can be given a ballot paper.

This requirement will affect all voters who vote in person or by proxy, at the next local and parish elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.

Photo ID is not required for postal voting.

Photo ID you can use

Voters must bring a suitable form of photo ID to their polling station. The most commonly used and accepted items of photo ID include:

  • a passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • a photographic driver’s licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional)
  • a European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID Card
  • a biometric immigration document
  • an identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
  • a Blue Badge
  • an Oyster 60+ Card
  • a concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority, for example, Kent County Council Bus Pass; Disabled Person's Bus Pass, Welsh or Northern Ireland travel card

Only original documents will be accepted at the polling station; scanned images or copies will not be accepted. However, if your photo ID has expired it will be accepted as long as the photograph is still a good likeness to you.

You can find a full list of accepted photo ID on our frequently asked questions page.

No suitable photo ID?

If you do not have any of the accepted photo ID listed above, and you want to vote at the polling station, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This is a photographic identification document specific for the purposes of voting.

You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online, by post, or in person. We recommend that you apply for a Voter Authority Certificate in good time.

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate in time for the local elections in May 2023 is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.

Voters who do not produce a suitable form of photo ID or a Voter Authority Certificate will not be allowed to vote on the day.

Apply online

You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate on GOV.UK.

It’s free to apply. You’ll need:

  • a recent, digital photo of yourself
  • your National Insurance number

You can still apply if you do not have a National Insurance number. You’ll need to provide other documents to prove your identity, for example a birth certificate, bank statement and utility bill.

Apply now

Apply by post

If you cannot (or do not want to) apply online, you can download the paper application form (PDF opens in a new window). Print and complete this in black pen, then send it to us at:

Electoral Services
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Town Hall
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 1RS

Apply in person

If you would like to apply in person, please contact our Elections team (details below). An appointment will be made for you to attend The Amelia Scott in Tunbridge Wells. At your appointment we will take a photo of you and complete the application form. When booking your appointment, you will be advised what documents you need to bring with you.

You must make an appointment to apply in person.

Email: elections@tunbridgewells.gov.uk
Telephone: 01892 554024 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Postal and proxy voters

Postal voters will not be affected and will be issued with their postal ballot papers as usual.

If you choose to vote by proxy then the person who you have trusted to vote on your behalf will have to take their own identification to be issued with a ballot paper.

You can find more information about postal and proxy voting, including how to apply, on our how and where to vote page.

Poll cards are changing

From May 2023, in order to list suitable forms of photo ID acceptable at a polling station, poll cards will be A4 size and will delivered to your registered address in an envelope.


The information on this page was last updated on Friday 20 January 2023.