Electoral Registration

Electoral Registration – Why is it important?

Informing the Local Electoral Registration Officer that you have moved home is probably not top of your list when dealing with the challenges and demands of a house move, however it is important for a number of reasons, not just voting and it is a requirement in law.

Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that across Great Britain, recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. The research showed that 94 % of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered compared to 40% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year. In addition the same research indicates that only 63% of private renters are registered.

You often hear people talking about the stress of moving home. With so much to organise, it’s hardly surprising. You’ll need a lawyer and a survey - maybe a mortgage. Not forgetting arranging for gas and electricity to be connected at your new home.

So why should we all encourage individuals to be part of the electoral register? Of course being on the Electoral Register enables you to vote in local and UK elections and referendums, however as well as being able to vote, there are other reasons why it’s important to be on the electoral register:

  • Credit checks - credit reference agencies and banks use the electoral register to check an individual’s identity when they apply for credit. If they are not on the register they may be refused a bank account, loan, credit card or mortgage
  • Proof of address

So it's not just being able to vote that being on the electoral register is vital for, it may also improve the individual’s chances of getting credit, and don’t forget if they don’t provide their registration details they could be fined up to a £1000!

The following people can register to vote:

  • Anyone aged 16 or over can register to vote but you cannot vote until they are 18
  • British citizens or qualifying Commonwealth countries
  • Citizens of other EU member states resident in the UK can vote in local government elections but cannot vote in UK Parliamentary elections

Registering is straightforward and only takes a couple of minutes using the internet at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote individuals simply need their date of birth and national insurance number or alternatively they can contact their Local Authority Electoral Registration Officer.


Michael Poole Stated:

"I must admit this is something we have not made our clients aware of in the past but it obviously makes sense for the reasons outlined in this article. We now incorporate the link into our completion documentation to Landlords, Tenants, house buyers and sellers. Having them registered clearly helps us in the future as far as credit scoring and POD is concerned the lack of which can have a dramatic effect on transaction time scales. As Agents we have a responsibility to make our customers aware of the implications of not registering and this is an addition to our home moving service"


Margaret Waggott Assistant Director Administration,Democratic and Electoral Services Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council