Register to vote
The quickest and easiest way to register is online. You can now complete your individual electoral registration using the following link:
Alternatively you can download the forms to register to vote, or you can contact us and we can either send you a form to register in the post or we can assist you to register by phone.
Must I register and what happens if I don't?
Being registered to vote gives you a say on who represents you in your local council and in UK Parliament. It gives you the opportunity to have a say on important issues that affect you. That includes decisions made by elected representatives about everything from roads and recycling to education and climate change. If you don't register you can't vote!
If the Electoral Services Officer has invited you to register to vote, either by post, or by email it is important that you respond. If you don't, you will be sent reminders and a staff member will visit your home. At the end of this process we may send you a requirement to register; if you fail to do so without providing adequate reason why you have not, you may be fined £80. Not being registered can also impact on applications for mortgages or mobile phones, since credit reference agencies use the register to validate applications.
Find out more on the electoral commission website.
Who is eligible to register to vote?
You can register to vote is you are: 16 years old or over and a British citizen or an Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen who is resident in the UK.
Seventeen-year-olds and some 16-year olds are entitled to be included on the register as 'attainers'. They can vote once they are 18.
To qualify, Commonwealth citizens must be resident in the UK and either have leave to enter or remain in the UK or not require such leave. The definition of a 'Commonwealth citizen' includes citizens or British crown dependencies and British overseas territories.
Citizens of the European Union (who are not Commonwealth citizens or citizens of the Republic or Ireland) can vote in local elections in the UK, elections to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Parliament and Northern Ireland Assemblies (if they live in those areas) and some referendums (based on the rules for the particular referendum), but are not able to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections.
Do I need to re-register each year?
Once you're registered, you don't need to register again unless your circumstances change, for example, if you change address.
The Electoral Registration Officer will contact you every year as part of the annual canvass (usually between July and November) to make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Herefordshire. Please go to the Annual Canvass page for more information.
Can a family member register me or can I register someone else online?
Everybody needs to register themselves. It's straightforward and quick and you can register online using the button at the top of this page. If you or a family member are unable to register yourself, it's ok to get help filling in the details, but each individual must make the declaration themselves.
In certain circumstances, someone who has been granted appropriate power of attorney may be able to make the declaration on your behalf. You will need to contact Electoral Services to see whether this applies to you.
Can I register at two addresses?
Normally people are registered at one address – their permanent home address. Students may register at both their term-time address and their non-term-time address. If you are living somewhere temporarily but have a permanent address elsewhere, you should register at the permanent address.
Having a second home doesn't necessarily mean that you can register there as well as at your permanent address. A person's name may appear on the electoral register only if they reside at an address within the electoral area. Residence is not defined in law; however, in England and Wales it has been held by the courts to entail a 'considerable degree of permanence'. Based on this criterion, it is possible for a person to be registered to vote in two different electoral areas.
However, it is unlikely that ownership of a second home that is used only for recreational purposes would meet the residency qualification. Ownership of a second home that a voter pays council tax on but is not resident in does not qualify them to be registered to vote in that area. It is for the Electoral Registration Officer to decide in the light of an individual voter's circumstances whether they may be said to be resident at an address, and therefore eligible for registration. Contact Electoral Services for further information.
How do I find my National Insurance number and date of birth?
You will need your date of birth and national insurance number in order to register to vote.
If you do not know your actual date of birth, you may have been given an official one in the past and this can be used to register to vote. This can be found on paperwork, including a passport, adoption certificate, driving licence or naturalisation certificate. If you do not have one, you will need to explain why you are unable to provide it in your registration application and indicate if you are under 18 years old, aged 18-75, or over 76.
A National Insurance number is a reference number used by government. The easiest place to find your National Insurance number is on official paperwork, such as your National Insurance card, payslips or letters from the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
If you still cannot find your national insurance number you can:
- Use the HMRC enquiry service at www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number.
- Download and use the free HMRC app which provides a quick and easy way to check your national insurance number
- Call the National Insurance Registrations Helpline on 0300 200 3502, or 00 44 191 2037010 if you are outside the UK (HMRC will not tell you your national insurance number over the phone, they'll post it to you)
- Write your request to 'PT Operations North East England, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN, United Kingdom'
Most people in the UK have a National Insurance number. If you do not have one, you will be asked to explain why you are unable to provide it.
Electoral Services may contact you to ask for proof of identity
Public inspection of the full register
There is provision for inspection of a paper version of the full register at the Electoral Services Office, Town Hall, St Owen Street, Hereford HR1 2PJ under supervision during office hours.
Handwritten notes may be made by those inspecting the full register. Any other copying or recording of the register, including by mobile phone is not permitted, and is a criminal offence.
The Electoral Services office is currently closed to the public due to Coronavirus so this service is unavailable. Contact us for further information.
Electoral services contact details
Our opening times are:
Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.15pm
Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm