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Voter Identification

From May 2023 people will need to produce an accepted form of photographic ID to prove their identity before they will be issued with a ballot paper. This includes people acting as a proxy for other individuals.

This is a national change implemented as part of the Elections Act 2022.

This will apply for the local elections taking place in the South Hams and West Devon on 4 May 2023. 

To vote in person voters must be on the electoral register and bring a suitable form of photographic ID to their polling station. The most commonly used IDs include:

  • 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
  • Photographic driving licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional)
  • European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID Card
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram  (PASS card)
  • A Blue Badge
  • A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority

A full list of the photo ID that will be accepted is available on the Gov.UK site.

Only original documents are accepted; scanned images or copies will not be accepted. Expired documents are accepted if the photo is still a current likeness of the elector.


No suitable photo ID?

Where an individual does not have one of these accepted forms of photo ID, they can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. This can be obtained, for free, from their local Electoral Registration Officer. The document contains an elector's name and photograph.

You must be on the electoral register to apply.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate on the Gov.UK website here.

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate for the local elections in England on 4 May 2023 is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.

For further information please see the Electoral Commission website.

Voters who do not produce a Voter Authority Certificate, or valid photo identification, will not be allowed to vote on the day.


Postal voting 

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

If you wish to vote by post in future elections, including the 4 May 2023 elections, you can apply by downloading an application form here.


Proxy voting

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.

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