Register to vote
Why register to vote?
- You must be on the electoral register to vote
- By law, you must register to vote or you could be fined up to £80
- If you are not on the register you may find it harder to get a loan, mortgage, finance agreement, or even a mobile phone contract as the register is used by credit reference agencies
Who can register?
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 or older (although you can't vote until you're 18)
- living at an address in Cotswold District
- a British citizen; or
- an Irish, qualifying Commonwealth, or European Union citizen living in the UK
If you are a student living away from home, you can register at both your home and university term time address. Registering to vote at your term time address means you can choose where you vote.
You can still register to vote if you have no fixed address. You will need a 'declaration of local connection' to show that you are connected to and spend time at a particular place. Please contact Electoral Services for more information.
Register to vote
To register to vote, please:
- visit the register to vote website
It takes less than five minutes and saves the Council money on printing and postage. You will need your:
- date of birth and
- National Insurance number which is on your National Insurance card or letter, or on official paper work such as payslips or letters about tax or benefits. If you cannot find your National Insurance number, visit find a lost National Insurance number website
- If you haven't been given a National Insurance number, or can't supply it when applying to register, you will need to provide a reason.
If you can't fill in the application online, please contact us on 01285 623002 for a paper form.
Once we have checked your details, you will receive a letter from us either confirming that you are registered, or asking you for more information.
How we handle your information
We use information about citizens, electors and voters so we can carry out specific functions and statutory services. Your records are used to make sure we provide you with the service that you need. We will (based on your nationality) include your name on the Electoral Register so that you are able to vote by your chosen method.
The electoral register is only updated at certain times of the year - generally the first of every month, apart from in October and November.
Once you are included on the register, you remain on it until you re-register at a different address.
Once a year, we send a household form to every property to confirm the information we hold about your address. This usually takes place between July and December.
The Open register
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but it is not used for elections. It can be purchased by any person, company organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. 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. If you would like to remove your name from the open version of the Electoral Register, please contact us with your name address by:
- email elections team or
- call 01285 623002.