Register to vote
You may find it difficult to get credit loans, phone contracts, a mortgage or bank account if you are not on the electoral register, as this is used by credit reference agencies. Don’t miss your opportunity to vote in elections – make sure you are registered.
Different registering processes and rules apply if you're:
- voting when living or working abroad
- homeless, a remand prisoner or a patient at a mental health hospital
- afraid for your safety (anonymous registration)
What you need to know
Read the information below to find out about:
- who can register to vote
- what you need to register
- updating your details if you change your name or move address
- registering if you're a student at university
You can register to vote in elections if you’re:
- 16 years old or over - you can’t vote until you are 18
- a British, Irish, EU or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
- a permanent resident in Brent.
You can view a list of all the qualifying nationalities that can register to vote (.pdf) in the UK.
Not all nationalities have the same voting rights and therefore it is important that we have the correct information about you. If you are a former foreign national that has been granted British citizenship, please state British on your application form.
See which elections you can vote in.
When you register to vote, you'll need to provide your:
- National Insurance (NI) number
- date of birth.
This is so that your identity can be checked and registration approved. If you cannot be verified, we will write to you to explain what to do next.
You can find your National Insurance number on your NI card, employee payslip or correspondence from HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC). If you can't find your NI number you will need to contact HMRC.
The registration form will also ask if you wish to be included in the open register, which is an extract of the full electoral register that can be bought by any person, company or organisation. Read more about the open register to help you decide.
You will need to register to vote again if you move to a new address in or out of Brent.
If you have changed your name or your name has been spelt incorrectly, tell us your new or correct name.
Students may be able to register at home and at their term-time address. So wherever you are on election day, you can vote. You will need to complete a registration form and return it to the electoral registration office at your term-time local council.
It is a criminal offence to vote twice in a UK general election. Even if you are registered in two areas – at home and at university – you can only vote in one at a general election.
Such an offence could result in a fine of up to £5,000.
However, if your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections in both.