We publish two electoral registers the full register and the open register.
The full register
This register lists the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote in public elections. It is used for electoral purposes – such as making sure only eligible people can vote - and for other limited purposes specified in law. The personal data in the register will always be processed in line with data protection legislation.
Who uses the full register?
- The Council, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office use the register for electoral purposes.
- The council can use the register for the conduct of elections and duties relating to security, enforcing the law and preventing crime. The police and the security services can also use it for law enforcement.
- The register is used when calling people for jury service (up to age 75).
- Government departments may buy the register from local registration officers and use it to help prevent and detect crime. They can also use it to safeguard national security by checking the background of job applicants and employees.
- Credit reference agencies can buy the register to help them check the names and addresses of people applying for credit. They also use it to carry out identity checks when trying to prevent and detect money laundering.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything else.
The open register
The open register is an extract of the full electoral register. This register can be bought by any person, company or organisation and is mainly used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. The personal data in the register will always be processed in line with data-protection legislation.
Who uses the open register?
Users of the open register include:
- businesses checking the identity and address details of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire and property rental, as well as when they shop online.
- businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol and gambling online, to meet the rules on verifying the age of their customers.
- charities and voluntary agencies, for example to help maintain contact information for those who have chosen to donate bone marrow and to help people separated by adoption to find each other.
- direct-marketing firms when maintaining their mailing lists.
- landlords and letting agents when checking the identity of potential tenants.
- local councils when identifying and contacting residents, for example when issuing residents parking permits and other local services which require evidence of residency.
- online directory firms to help users of the websites to find people, such as when reuniting friends and families.
- organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies.
- private sector firms to verify details of job applicants.