Electoral Registration

Who can register?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 years old or over (although you can only vote when you turn 18)
  • a British citizen
  • a citizen of another European Union Country: EU citizens can vote at local government and European parliamentary elections only
  • a qualifying Commonwealth citizen

A full list of eligible countries is available.

Residency

You need to be living at the address where you wish to register and not using it as a 2nd home or postal address.  If you are a British citizen resident overseas, Crown Servant serving overseas or in the Armed Services please visit the Gov.uk website for further information.

There are various other categories of people who can register in a different way. If you are homeless people, reside in a mental health unit, or are a remand prisoner you can register using an address where you would be living if it were not for your current situation or an address where you have lived in the past. If you are homeless, you can give details of where you spend a substantial part of your time.

Students can register for voting at both their home and term-time addresses if they are in different areas. However, by law you will only be able to vote once in an election.

Please note the payment of Council Tax on a property will not automatically register you for electoral purposes as different information is required.

How do I register?

  • you can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

  • everyone is responsible for registering themselves

  • you need to provide your national insurance number and your date of birth - your national insurance number can be found on your national insurance card or on official paperwork such as payslips and letters about benefits or tax credits. If you have lost your national insurance number go to www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number

Electoral Register

There are two versions of the Electoral Register - the Full Register and the Open Register.

The full electoral register

The full electoral register is a list of addresses and the names of the eligible voters who are living in the Spelthorne area. You cannot vote if your name does not appear on the register.  The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure 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.

A copy of the full register is held at the Council Offices and is available to view by appointment under supervision by one of our team. During the busy election period, this may not be possible. No copying of this register is allowed and the information it contains cannot be used for marketing purposes. If you would like to view your entry in the register, please contact the Electoral Registration Office to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, we may be able to provide this information over the telephone.

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 and can be used for any purpose including commercial activities such as marketing.  For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. If you require a copy of the open register please contact the Elections Office for a quote.

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

If you would like to request that your details are not included in the open register, or wish to opt back in please complete and return the  Application to Amend Opt-In or Opt-Out Form. [134kb].

Further information about the full electoral register and the open register can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Moving house

If you move house you can update your information at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you do not have access to the internet please contact Electoral Services.

Please note if you are moving house, you have a duty to also advise Council Tax.

Electoral Registration is separate to Council Tax as there is different criteria for payment of Council Tax and registering to vote.

Change of name

If your name has recently changed you can complete a  change of name form [557kb] which will require you to provide a copy of one of the following:

  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Deed Poll or amended birth certificate
  • copy of passport

Searching the register

There is no official centralised register of electors that can be searched online. Only the current register is available for public inspection at the Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines, TW18 1XB. This is carried out under  supervision by one of our team, so you will need to contact our office to make an appointment to ensure we have someone available. No photocopying is permitted and only handwritten notes may be taken. The hard copy register is in order by polling district, street and house number. Only the current register is available for inspection.

Historic electoral registers and family history

If you are researching family history and would like to see old copies of the register you will need to contact the Surrey History Centre by telephoning 01483 518 737. Alternatively you can contact the British Library by telephoning 0843 208 1144.

Credit referencing and certificates of residence

If you have been told that your name is not showing on the electoral register please check with the Electoral Services Office first as it may be that the third party's information is not up-to-date and we may be able to give you information that will assist that third party in locating your entry on the register.  Once we have confirmed that you are registered we can issue you with a Certificate of Residence. This is available for the current year only. A charge of £25 per person will be made and payment can be made by cash or cheque and letters will be posted to the address.

Consumer contact details for Credit Reference Agencies

The Council is required by law to supply a copy of the Electoral Register to authorised credit reference agencies. This is supplied for prevention of credit fraud and helps companies to quickly confirm your name and address. It means that they can check that people live at the address they give when applying for credit. Please bear in mind that if the council adds you to the register, although the data is sent to credit reference agencies when the register is published, it may take a while for the credit reference agency to update their records.

The main credit referencing agencies in the UK that we deal with are Experian, Equifax, Call CreditCrediva and Equiniti.

Annual Electoral Registration form

The Electoral Register is published annually on 1 December.

Every autumn, the Council will write to all households in the Borough asking for confirmation of the information currently held. Each form is addressed to 'the present occupier' (based on information we hold at that time) and by law you need to respond whether or not there are changes and failure to do so may result in a fine of £1,000.  If you have two homes then you should register where you spend most of your time.

We do not use other council records for electoral registration as not everyone who pays Council Tax is eligible to vote and not all Council Tax payers are resident. Electoral Registration is based on residency at a property.

Every household must respond, even if nobody at your address is eligible to vote. This includes foreign nationals, refugees and asylum seekers. Simply tick the box confirming you are a foreign national and confirm your nationality.

If you lose or spoil your form please contact Electoral Services and we can send another one to you.