Have you got your photo ID for the St Mary’s by-election?

Time to apply for free voter ID ahead of the St Mary’s by-election is running out. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 12 May.

For the first time, people voting on the Isles of Scilly will need to show photo ID when voting at the polling station at the St Mary’s by-election on Monday 22 May. Those without an accepted type of ID can apply online for a Voter Authority Certificate at https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate. They can also apply by completing a paper form and posting or emailing it to the Elections Office at the details below.

Applicants must be registered to vote and will need to provide their date of birth, National Insurance number and a photograph.

Those that have an accepted form of ID already do not need to apply. Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: “Voters will be required to show photo ID at polling stations from May 2023 onwards. The availability of free ID helps ensure elections remain accessible to all eligible voters. For those who don’t currently have the ID they need, it’s crucial they apply before the deadline so that they can take part.”

Paul Masters, Returning Officer at the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “As the deadline to apply for free ID looms, it is important that St Mary’s residents make sure they’re election ready. If you need any help with applying for free ID or want to request an application form, you can contact the Elections Office at elections@scilly.gov.uk or on 01720 424543.”


For more information contact the Elections Office at the details below:

Council of the Isles of Scilly
Town Hall
St Mary’s
Isles of Scilly
TR21 0LW

T: 01720 424543
E: elections@scilly.gov.uk

Notes to editors

  1. A by-election is taking place on St Mary’s on Monday 22 May 2023 to fill a vacancy on the Council of the Isles of Scilly.
  2. The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year.
  3. The legislation requires voters at polling stations to show an accepted form of photo ID before they receive their ballot paper. From May, voters will need to show photo ID before voting in local council elections in England, UK parliamentary by-elections, and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales. From October 2023, photo ID will be needed at UK parliamentary general elections. It will not be a requirement at local elections in Scotland or Wales, or elections to Scottish Parliament or Senedd. The requirement already exists in Northern Ireland.
  4. The UK Government’s Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities is responsible for the new voter ID policy and for the free voter ID application system. Enquiries relating to the application system or the policy itself should be directed to the Department.
  5. The Electoral Commission is responsible for ensuring voters are aware of the new voter ID requirement, and for supporting local authorities with the process. Questions related to the public awareness campaign should be directed to the Electoral Commission.
  6. Local authorities are responsible for implementing voter ID at the local level.  


Publishing date: 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2023