Register to vote in elections and change your name on the electoral register
You can now register to vote (link opens in new window) through the GOV.UK website. You need to register to vote in council and general elections.
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18)
- UK, Republic of Ireland or qualifying Commonwealth citizen. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not require such leave
- a citizen of a European Union country living in the UK
- a citizen of the Channel islands, the Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory living in the UK
You can now register to vote (link opens in new window) through the GOV.UK website. It is updated every month, which is useful if you move house and need to register at your new address.
You will be prompted to fill in your:
- date of birth
- national insurance number (on your national insurance card, payslips, or letters about tax).
Once your details have been verified you will receive a confirmation letter.
Registering to vote: easy read guide
GOV.UK have produced a step-by-step, easy read guide to registering to vote, for people with a learning disability (link opens in new window).
Check if you're already registered
Call 0300 300 8008 to check if you're already registered to vote.
How to change your name on the electoral register
You can change your name on the electoral register (link opens in new window) using the register to vote service on the GOV.UK website.
The electoral register has a list of names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. You are not automatically registered if you pay Council Tax, and since 2014, you need to register yourself. No one else can do it for you.
Registration Officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register.
The electoral register
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.
The open register
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed (opt out). Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
Opting out of being on the open register
To opt out of being on the open register, please email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Central Bedfordshire Council