Register to vote

Registering to vote is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. If you are already on the Electoral Register, you do not need to register again.

Register to vote

  1. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and the other details you are asked for. You'll also need your National Insurance number, which can be found on your National Insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, letters about benefits or tax credits.
  2. Once we've checked your details, we'll send you a letter to confirm if you've been added to the electoral register.

Who can register to vote?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 years old or over (although you can’t vote until you are 18); and
  • a British or Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic or other European Union state:  List of eligible countries (PDF 89KB)

Annual canvass 2020 

The annual household canvass to update the register of electors is changing this year.

  • Canvass reform means that we data match all households with the Department of Work and Pensions database in early June - from a test run in January we are expecting 70 per cent of households to match. Those households that match will get a letter from us saying they do not need to take any action - only tell us if something is wrong, such as if someone has recently moved out. The letter tells you how to do this online. 
  • All electors in the 30 per cent of households in the district that we do not get a full match for will be sent a letter that asks them to go online or call the Freephone number to make any changes. This is a secure system. As in previous years, you will be given personal security codes on the form. Please do this as soon as possible. After two weeks we will send a reminder. There is no provision for this to be posted back to us.
  • We will chase up non-responders with a Canvass Form (similar to the one we sent last year). This requires a response. Ideally, you will do this online or by calling the Freephone number. The system is secure - you will be given personal security codes on the form. Alternatively, you could post this form back to us, with any amendments made, in the pre-paid envelope.
  • We will chase up non-responders from late September. Households may get a phone call or email from our Elections Office. Alternatively, one of our personal canvassers may knock on your door - this is subject to change due to the current social-distancing rules. If carried out, they will carry identification and will not seek to enter your house, but simply encourage you to complete the form.  If there are changes, we need to make sure we have actioned them so you are able to vote in any elections. Not being registered can affect your credit score.

A new register of electors will be published on 1 December. 


Annual canvass 2020 dates
Summary of dates (subject to change)
Start of canvass 15 June 2020
Data matching 15 June 2020
Letters to properties that match 6 July 2020
Initial letters to unmatched properties 13 July 2020
Reminder forms 17 August 2020
Personal canvass 28 September to 19 October 2020
New register published 1 December 2020


To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service, which is managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process, your data will be shared with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service.

You can find more information about this on the Government website.

Absent voting

For more information on what to do if you're away or cannot go to your polling station on election day, please visit our Absent voting page.

The electoral register and the open register

There are two versions of the electoral register - the open register and the full version.

Opting out of 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.

Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

To be removed from the open register, download and complete the  Opting out of the open register form (PDF 6KB).

The full register

Everyone’s name and address goes on the full version of the electoral register. The full version of the register is only used for:

  • elections
  • preventing and detecting crime (for example, fraud)
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit applications

A full version of the electoral register is held at The Forum in Hemel Hempstead and can be viewed by anyone under supervision.

Registering to vote anonymously

You may be able to register anonymously if you can show that there’s a good reason, such as you’re concerned about your safety.

Your details won’t appear on either version of the electoral register if you register anonymously.

Please contact us to find out if you can register anonymously. You will need to provide documentary evidence to support your application.

Contact us

Email:  Telephone: 01442 228000 and ask for Electoral Services

Warning signCoronavirus (COVID-19): We continue to provide services online and via telephone. However, we recognise that in some cases you will need an appointment with an officer, and will therefore be offering limited pre-booked appointments at the Forum for urgent enquiries. Please call 01442 228000 and ask for the service you require. For council service updates and other advice, please see our COVID-19 page×