Register to vote or make changes to the electoral register

Don't miss out on your right to vote! Find out how to register to vote, or change your registration details.

You need to be on the electoral register to vote in elections and referendums. 

Not being registered to vote can cause a delay if you apply for a loan, mortgage, finance agreement or even a mobile phone contract.

You will not be automatically registered to vote if you pay council tax, so unless you have registered individually, you are not on the electoral register.

Once you have registered, you do not need to do so again unless you move house.

Each year the Electoral Registration Officer contacts every household in the Guildford area to check that the registration details held for that property are accurate and up to date. This is called the Annual Canvass.

Voting eligibility

To be eligible to register to vote you need to be:

  • over 16 years of age (you can only vote when you become 18)
  • either a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of a member state of the European Union.

A qualifying Commonwealth citizen is someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave. The definition of a 'Commonwealth' citizen includes citizens of British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. 

Citizens of the European Union (who are not Commonwealth citizens or Citizens of the Republic of Ireland, Malta or Cyprus) can vote in local elections in the UK and some referendums (based on the rules for the particular referendum). They are not able to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections.

Check the icon list of eligible nationalities [80.94KB]

How to register

  1. Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

  2. Complete the online registration form. You will need your National Insurance number and date of birth when you register, and the process should take about five minutes.

  3.  We will write to confirm when you will be added to the register.

If you are unable to access the internet, please contact Electoral Services with your full name and address, and we will be able to send you a paper registration form.

When you submit your application, the details you provide will be checked against the information held by the Department of Work and Pensions. If there are any problems with the verification of your application, we will get in touch with you.  

Registering without your National Insurance number

Most people living in the UK are sent a National Insurance number just before their sixteenth birthday. You will find this number on your payslip, P60, or letters about tax, pensions and benefits.

If you are unable to find your National Insurance Number, it can be obtained from the HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3500. 

If you do not have a National Insurance Number, you can still register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. When prompted, click on the link 'I don't know my National Insurance number', then 'I can't provide a National Insurance Number', and give the reason for this.

When we receive your application, we will be in touch to request further information: usually this is a copy of your passport, ID card or UK driving licence.

How long before I am added to the register?

Providing your application is successfully verified, your details will be added to the electoral register with the next available update. Please see our icon schedule of monthly updates [91.77KB]  to the electoral register to see when your details will be added.

If you are unsure, please contact Electoral Services.

Tell us about a change of address

If you have changed address, please let us know by:

Removing a person from the register of electors

If someone is registered to vote at your address, but no longer lives there please let us know by filling in our Change of circumstances online form or email us.

Return any post we have sent them, clearly marked as 'not at this address'.

We will carry out a review and remove them from the register at your property. This may take several weeks, and they may receive post from us until the review is complete.

Removing someone from the register of electors will not remove their name from other public records, such as the council tax system, so you will also need to contact the Council Tax team directly.

Special categories of registration

There are special registration arrangements for some people:

Overseas voters

If you are a UK citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an overseas voter. To be eligible, you must have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years. If you were too young to register when you left the UK, you can still register as an overseas voter.

Service voters

You can register as a service voter if you are a member of HM Armed Forces, or the spouse or civil partner of someone in the armed forces. This includes Crown Servants and employees of the British Council posted overseas.

People with no fixed address

You can register to vote even if you do not have a fixed address. For example, you may be a patient in a mental health hospital, homeless, living on a boat/moveable residence or be remanded in custody (but not convicted). If you do not have a permanent address, you can register at an address where you spend a substantial part of your time, or have some connection to. This could be a previously permanent address, shelter or similar place.

Anonymous voters

If you are concerned about your name and address appearing on the electoral register because you think that it could affect your safety, or the safety of someone in your household, you can register anonymously.

If you register anonymously, your name and address will not appear on the public electoral register, but you will still be able to vote.

To register anonymously, you will need to submit evidence to support your registration, either:

  1. a court document that is for your protection or someone in your household

  2. a signature on your form from an authorised person confirming that your safety, or the safety of someone in your household, could be at risk if you don't register anonymously.

If you have any questions about registering under any of the above special categories, please contact Electoral Services, or visit www.yourvotematters.co.uk.

Your personal information

We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and follow the Data Protection Act 2018.

We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.

Please read our Electoral Services privacy statement for more information as to how we handle your personal information.