How to join the electoral roll and why it matters

by | Jan 25, 2024 | Council Tax, Moving Guides, Relocation

What is the electoral roll?

The electoral roll, also called the electoral register, lists the name and address of everyone registered to vote in the UK.

You must be on the electoral roll to vote in local and national elections.


What is the open register?

There are two versions of the electoral register, the open register and the closed register. The open register is available to anyone who would like to buy a copy.

If you would prefer not to appear on the open register you can join the closed register or register anonymously. If you’d like to opt out of the open register after you’ve joined you can use the register to vote service. 


How to join the electoral roll

Those who are eligible to vote in the UK and over 16 years old can join the electoral register online here. 

If you prefer, you can also register via post. You’ll need to download this form, print it and then send it to your local registration office.

Do I have to join the electoral roll?

If you’re eligible to vote in the UK and you’re asked to register you can be fined if you refuse.

You won’t be fined if you have a valid reason for not registering, such as a long hospital stay.

You don’t have to join the open register. If you’d prefer to keep your details private you can join the closed register, or register anonymously.


Do I need to be on the electoral roll to get credit?

While it’s not technically mandatory, applying for credit is more difficult if you’re not registered to vote. It can take longer for lenders to confirm details like your address, and your application might even be rejected.

Experian, the world’s biggest credit checking agency, confirm that being on the electoral roll improves your credit score. 


Read more about Council Tax and life in the UK:


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