Register to vote
How to register
In order to vote you must be registered. You can do this online.
To register to vote, go to Gov.uk - Register to vote
If you don't want to register online you can download a paper form from Gov.uk - Register to vote (paper forms).
As well as your date of birth you will need your national insurance number to register. You can find your National insurance number on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork like payslips or letters about benefits or tax credits.
You can find a lost national insurance number from Gov.uk - Lost national insurance number, or alternatively, you can contact National Insurance number helpline on 0300 200 3502.
If you can't provide your national insurance number you'll be asked to explain why on your application. We will then contact you for evidence about your identity.
Filling out a registration will not automatically add you to the Electoral Register. Your details will first be checked, then you'll receive a letter from us either confirming you're registered or asking you for more information.
You only have to register once to be able to vote. To check if you're already on the electoral register contact us.
Who can register?
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 or over (although you cannot vote until you are 18)
- Living at an address in Bury
- A British Citizen
- An Irish, Commonwealth or EU Citizen
- You must be on the Electoral Register to vote in all elections and referenda held in the UK, including local elections.
- By law you must register to vote or you could be fined up to £80
- If you are not on the electoral register you may find it harder to get a loan, mortgage, finance agreement or even a mobile phone contract as the electoral register is used by credit agencies as part of their checks.
Students and second homeowners
If your split your time between two addresses, for example if you're a student and have a home address and a term time address or if you own and reside in more than one property, you can register at both addresses as long as they're not both in the same local authority.
Registering to vote in you're in the armed forces
People in the armed forces, and their spouses and civil partners can register to vote as a service voter or as an ordinary elector.
If you're based overseas or expect to be posted abroad in the next year you should register to vote as a service voter. This will allow you to be registered at a fixed address in the UK even if you move abroad. A service voter registration also lasts five years so once you are registered you shouldn't have to worry about it whilst posted overseas.
You can register to vote at Gov.uk - Register to vote and will need information such as your service number. However if you will be based in the UK we recommend registering to vote as an ordinary elector.
When your name will appear on the register
By law the Electoral Register is updated on the first working day of every month except October and November.
Open register is a version of the electoral register that's available for anyone to who wants to buy a copy. Every person applying to become registered will be asked if they want their details excluded from the open register. Opting out doesn't affect your right to vote or credit status. You can opt out of the open register at:
Anyone can request to vote by post, instead of going to a polling station, providing you appear on the register of electors. If you wish to vote by post you can download the form from
Postal votes are usually sent out a week before election day. You must make sure that your vote arrives back before 10pm on election day for your vote to count. You will not be able to vote in person at the polling station, unless you contact us in writing at least 11 working days prior to any election, to cancel your postal vote.
If anyone tries to help you vote against your will, or force you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police. If you have any other queries please contact your local electoral registration office, you can get their details from Electoral Commission
Voting by proxy
A proxy vote means that you appoint someone to vote on your behalf if you are unable to get to the polling station on Election Day, providing you appear on the electoral register.
If you wish to vote by proxy you can download the form:
If you have moved overseas and still wish to vote in UK Parliamentary Elections you may do so by applying to register as an Overseas Elector. You can register, as an overseas elector for up to 15 years since you became resident abroad. If you wish to do so please contact our office for further details.
You cannot vote in local elections if you are registered to vote as an overseas elector, but at Parliamentary elections you may vote by post or by proxy. Postal votes are often issued a week before polling, you may therefore wish to consider if this gives you enough time to complete and return your form. It may be better to appoint a proxy on your behalf.