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 (e.g. 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. 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 register, please call 0191 427 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, full address and you want your name to be taken off the edited register. You will receive a letter to tell you that your details have been removed.
Credit reference agencies and the electoral register
Credit reference agencies can buy copies of the Full Register of Electors.
The information is marked to show who has opted out of the Open Register, and who is happy to have their details passed on to a third party.
How do credit reference agencies use this information?
The agencies use this information if you are applying for credit or to confirm your name and address when you want to open a bank account.
They do not directly access the information held on our register of electors. They purchase the data and update their own systems therefore, it can take them some time to update their records.
If you have had a credit application rejected because a credit reference agency says that you are not on the electoral register:
contact the Elections Office by emailing email@example.com or phone our Customer Contact Centre on 0191 427 7000 to see if you are on the current Electoral Register
If you are registered to vote, contact the appropriate Credit Reference Agency