Voter IDs in order to vote at an election in May 2023.
If you don't have an accepted form of photo ID you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if:
* you don't have an accepted form of photo ID
* you're not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you
* you're worried about using an existing form of ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker
You need to register to vote before applying for a Voter Authority Certificate.
How do I apply for a Voter Authority Certificate and what is the deadline to apply?
For the local, town parish council elections taking place on Thursday 4 May 2023, the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm on Tuesday 25th April 2022.
Apply online – details on Cheshire West and Chester Council website.
Apply by post.
You will also be able to apply by filling out a paper application form and sending this to the Democratic Services team at Cheshire West and Chester Council. You can request the instructions in large print, braille or easy read.
Apply in person.
From March 2023, you will also be able to apply in person. To book an appointment with a dedicated customer service adviser, telephone: 0300 123 8 123.
* Chester: Chester Town Hall (side entrance)
* Ellesmere Port: The Portal
* Northwich: Information Centre
* Winsford: Wyvern House
Alternatively, you can attend a drop-in session at the following libraries hosted by Democratic Services:
Date: Monday, 6 March 2023
Time: 3pm until 6pm
Date: Tuesday, 7 March 2023
Time: 10am until 12noon
Date: Thursday, 6 April 2023
Time: 2pm until 5pm
Date: Tuesday, 11 April 2023
Time: 2pm until 5pm
Dates and times may change subject to each library's requirements.
Information you will need to provide
When applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, you will need to provide your:
* date of birth
* National Insurance number
You should apply using the same name that you used to register to vote. You will not need to provide your gender, and your certificate will not have a gender marker.
If you don't know your National Insurance number or don't have one:
You can find your National Insurance number on:
official letters about tax, pensions or benefits
or you can get in touch with HMRC
You can still apply if you don't know your National Insurance number, or don't have one. You will need to provide other forms of proof of identity, such as a birth certificate, bank statement and a utility bill. If you don't have any other accepted proof of identity, you can ask someone you know to confirm your identity. This is known as an attestation.
Providing a photograph
You will need to submit a photo with your application. The requirements for the photo are similar to the requirements for a passport photo.
Processing your application
Cheshire West and Chester Council will process your application and the Voter Authority Certificate will be sent to you by post along with instructions on how to use it. Voter Authority Certificates do not have an expiration date, but it's recommended that you renew your certificate after 10 years.
All data you provide when applying for a certificate will be stored securely by Cheshire West and Chester Council in line with data protection regulations.
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