You can register to vote if you are aged 16 or over, although you cannot vote until you are 18, and:
- a British citizen
- a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union member states
- a citizen of a British Overseas Territory or a Commonwealth country
Apply to register
- Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- Applying to register to vote online only takes you a few minutes. You'll need to provide your date of birth and your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.
or contact Electoral Services on 01255 686566 to obtain a registration form.
Check you're registered to vote
You are not automatically included on the electoral register if you are paying council tax. Please call Electoral Services on 01255 686566 to confirm if you are currently registered.
Change your details on the electoral register
You need to make a new application to register every time you move. Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to update your address, your name or your nationality.
Updates to the electoral register
The register is updated every month from December to September to allow new electors to be added or for electors to be removed. There are no monthly updates to the register during the annual household canvass in October and November. A new register is published on 1 December each year.
It can take up to six weeks for your voter registration details to appear on your credit report.
The electoral register and the open register
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited 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 (eg 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.
You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at www.gov.uk/electoral-register
Opt out of the open register
Your name and address 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. You can opt out:
- when you register to vote, you are given the choice to opt out of the open register
- by phone - contact Electoral Services on 01255 686566 during office opening hours
- by email - to email@example.com with the words ‘Opt Out’ in the subject heading.
You must make it clear that you wish to opt out of the open register, and include your full name and address. We’ll respond by email within five working days to confirm that you have been opted out.
Inspect the electoral register
The electoral register is not available to view online. The current register can be inspected in person at the Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, under supervision, during office opening hours. Legally you cannot take any copies of the register, either paper or photographic, although you may take handwritten notes.
Sale of the open register
The open register can be brought by anyone requesting it on payment of the prescribed fee. The fees are:
- £20 plus £1.50 per 1,000 electors (or part there of) for a data copy
- £10 plus £5 per 1,000 (or part there of) for a paper copy
To buy a copy of the open electoral register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org detailing your requirements and we will respond to confirm how much it will cost.
Credit ratings and the electoral register
The electoral register is used by credit reference agencies to confirm your name and address. As a result, it can be more difficult for you to obtain credit and insurance if you are not registered to vote.
If you’re denied credit or are told you have a low credit score because your name is not on the electoral register, please contact us to check the register. If you have already provided confirmation of registration to your bank or credit reference agency, any further problems will have to be taken up with them, not with the Electoral Registration Officer.
Telephone: 01255 686566