Voter ID: New requirement for voters to provide photographic identification at polling stations


  1. Overview
  2. Types of ID you can use
  3. Apply for a Voter Authority Certifcate
  4. If you don't want to show your identifcation
  5. More information


Before you can vote, you will need to show photographic identification (photo ID) at the polling station before you are given a ballot paper.

This is a new legal requirement introduced by the government.

This will affect all voters in South Tyneside who vote in person or by proxy. It does not apply to people who vote by post.

Types of ID you can use

You can use any of the following accepted forms of photo ID when voting at a polling station.

International travel:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country

Driving and Parking:

  • Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
  • A Blue Badge

Local travel:

  • Older Person's Bus Pass
  • Disabled Person's Bus Pass
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • Freedom Pass
  • Scottish National Entitlement Card
  • 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • Disabled Person's Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person's SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland

Proof of age:

  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)

Other government issued documents:

  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
  • Voter Authority Certificate
  • Anonymous Elector's Document

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate

You can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate if:

  • you don't already have an accepted form of photo ID
  • you're not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you

How to apply

If you would like us to send a paper form to apply for a voter authority certificate, please call 0191 427 7000 or email

An  Easy Read Guide - Voter Authority Certificate application form (PDF) [1MB]  is available to help voters with learning disabilities complete the Voter Authority Certificate application.

Voter information booklet in Panjabi and Urdu

The booklet explains:

  • How to register to vote
  • Which forms of ID will be accepted
  • How to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate
  • What to expect at the polling station
  • Other ways to vote

ਵੋਟਰ ਬੁੱਕਲੇਟ ਡਾਉਨਲੋਡ ਕਰੋ (Panjabi)

ووٹر کتابچہ ڈاؤن لوڈ کریں (Urdu)

These files have not been produced by South Tyneside Council, and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. If you need help to access this information within these files, please get in touch to request an accessible format.

What you need to provide in your application

You will need to give your name, address, date of birth, national insurance number and photograph with your application. 

Your photograph should be a close-up of your head and shoulders, and you should:

  • be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera
  • not have anything covering your face
  • have a plain facial expression
  • have your eyes open and clearly visible (for example without sunglasses or hair over the eyes)
  • not be wearing a hat or head covering (unless it's for religious or medical reasons)

The photograph must be:

  • in colour and taken against a plain, light background
  • in sharp focus and clear
  • free from "redeye", shadows which obscure the face, or reflection
  • undamaged
  • a true likeness, without amendment or manipulation (i.e. without filters)
  • at least 45mm x 35mm and no bigger than 297mm x 210mm - for in person and paper applications, or
  • at least 750 x 600 pixels and no more than 20MB in size - for online applications

If you apply online you can upload a digital photograph.

If you apply in paper, you can use a photo you already have as long as it meets the requirements above.

If you apply in person at South Shields Town Hall a member of staff can take your photograph for you.

If you don't want to show your ID

If you don't have photographic identification or, don't want to show identification in the polling station, you may prefer to vote by post.

Find out more about how to vote by post.