Express & Star

Voters urged to ensure they have photo ID ahead of local elections

Voters across the West Midlands have been urged to ensure they have photo ID available for next month's local elections.

Local elections take place across the West Midlands on May 4

Polls are set to take place across the country on May 4, with the four Black Country councils, Stafford, Cannock Chase and Lichfield among the local authorities to hold elections.

For the first time, anyone voting in person will need to present photographic identification when casting their ballot.

Accepted forms of identification include driving licences, blue badges, NUS Totum cards and some bus passes.

Anyone who does not have ID can apply for a free local Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) by post or online 24 hours a day, up until 5pm on April 25.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, said: "It’s vital you check now if you have the photo identification needed to vote in English local elections taking place in May.

“While the vast majority of voters already own an accepted form of identification, anyone who needs to can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate before 5pm on Tuesday.

“For more information please check your polling card and find more details online.”

The Government says the requirement for ID brings the rest of the UK in line with Northern Ireland, which has had photo identification to vote in elections since 2003, and will ensure that elections are better protected from the potential for voter fraud.

Accepted forms of photo identification and further information are available on and the Electoral Commission website.

They include: Driving licence (including provisional licences), passport, PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme – this includes the NUS Totum card, the Post Office card, Young Scot card), Blue Badge, Biometric residence permit, Defence Identity Card, National identity cards issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, Voter Authority Certificate, Anonymous Elector’s Document, older person’s bus pass, disabled person’s bus pass.