The electoral register

The Electoral Register

The way we all register to vote has changed.

The registration system changed in September 2014. The new system is called Individual Electoral Registration. 

How the new system is different

You can now register online

  • Everyone is responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the head of every household could register everyone who lived at their address
  • You need to provide a few more details to register including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure

How to register under the new system

Go to

  1. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You’ll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits
  2. Look out for a confirmation to say you are registered

Annual canvass

Each year Electoral Registration Officers issue every household a Household Enquiry Form. Households in Highland and Western Isles were issued with a form on 1 August 2017 to establish who lives in the property and is eligible to register to vote. All electors currently registered will have their names pre-printed on the form.

Reminders forms will be issued week commencing 1 September 2017 with final reminders being issued week commencing 2 October 2017.  Visits will be made to all non-responding households or electors in an effort to compile an accurate register before publication of the revised register on 1 December 2017.

Information must be provided even if the names of the electors listed in the Household Enquiry Form have not changed.

If anyone is not named on the form and is eligible to vote then their name should be added and the form returned. The elector can then either register online at or an Invitation to register will be sent out.  Anyone who has moved from the address should have their name crossed out.

Scottish elections

The voting age for Scottish elections has been permanently lowered to 16.

This means that if you’re 16 or over on 5 May 2016, you’ll be able to vote at the Scottish Parliamentary election (as well as future local government elections).

You just need to register first. It only takes a few minutes and you can do it online.

You’ll need to provide your date of birth and National Insurance number (you only need your National Insurance number if you are 16 or over), which you can find on official documents such as letters from HM Revenue and Customs. Otherwise, for help you can visit:

Don’t worry - if you are not yet 16 you will not need your National Insurance number to register.

Removing your details from the open register

If you would like your details removed from the open register you need to contact the electoral registration officer. Details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Find out more at

Register to vote

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