Waverley Borough Council

Registering to vote

Register to vote - Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

The voter registration system changed to Individual Electoral Registration (IER) on 10 June 2014.

What is different?

Individuals are now responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the head of every household could register everyone who lived at their address.

When you register to vote, you will now need to give your date of birth and national insurance number.  This is to verify your identity and prevent fraud.

Register to vote online

  1. Fill in all parts of the forms and include your date of birth and national insurance number.  Your national insurance number can be found on your national insurance card or on a payslip or letter about benefits or pension information.
  2. You will receive confirmation to say your application has been sent to us.
  3. You will receive a letter from us a few days later confirming your inclusion on the Electoral Register.

Why do I need to be registered?

You can only vote if you are registered.  Credit reference agencies also use the Electoral Register when they assess credit applications for obtaining loans or mortgages and when individuals open bank accounts or wish to set up mobile phone contracts.  Registration is required by law.

I am already registered - what do I need to do?

At the end of July 2014, we wrote to every individual already on the Electoral Register. Most people will automatically be registered under the new system.  However a number of people will need to take action to ensure their details are included on the new Register. The letters we have sent explain clearly what action each individual will need to take. 

To find out more about individual registration you can visit www.gov.uk/yourvotematters.  

I do not know if I am registered

You can check whether you are already registered by contacting the Elections team by email to electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk or by phone on 01483 523116.

Who can register to vote?

You can register to vote as soon as you are 17 (although you can't vote until you are 18).  You must also live at an address in the Waverley area for at least six months of the year.

You also need to be:

  • A British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen; or
  • A citizen of a country in the European Union: and
  • Resident at your address for at least 6 months of the year

There are two forms of the registers.  Why?

The Electoral Registration Officer keeps two registers - the electoral register and the open register (formerly known as the Edited Register).

Electoral register

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in 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 (eg fraud), calling people for jury service, checking credit applications.

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 business 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.

You can find out more information about both registers and how they may be used at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.  

Opt out of open register

To opt out of the open register contact the Elections team electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk or 01483 523116.

Viewing the register

If you want to see the full electoral register, you can make an appointment by contacting the Elections team.  Email electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk or phone 01483 523116.

  • Inspection of the register will be under supervision
  • You can take extracts from the register, but only by hand written notes
  • Information taken must not be used for direct marketing purposes, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, unless it has been published in the edited version.

Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and will be charged a penalty of up to £5000.

Page owner: Joe Blythman. Last updated: 04/08/2014 14:44

Further pages in Registering to vote

  1. Register to vote - Individual Electoral Registration (IER)
  2. Who can register to vote?
  3. Registering to vote as a student
  4. Keeping your vote when living abroad
  5. Anonymous registration
  6. Open register (edited register)


Electoral Services

Service: Elections

Telephone: 01483 523116

Waverley Borough Council,