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Cambridge City Council

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Register to vote or update your details

If your name is not on the electoral register, you cannot have your say in issues that affect you.

It’s easy to register – you just need to provide a few details, including your date of birth and National Insurance number.

When you have registered, your details will be added to the electoral register.

Registration deadlines are listed below.

Who can register

You can register to vote if you:

  • are 16 years or over – although you cannot vote until you’re 18
  • live at an address in the authority’s area
  • are either a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen – you’ll be eligible to vote in all elections
  • or are a citizen of a European Union country – you’ll be eligible to vote in local and European parliamentary elections only

EU citizens living in the UK retain their voting rights here until the government agrees arrangements with each individual country.

Currently, only Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Spain have voting rights agreed for when any changes come into force.

Voting rights for UK resident citizens of Cyprus and Malta are not affected by Brexit, because they retain voting rights as citizens of the Commonwealth.

We will contact all EU citizens who are registered to vote as soon as anything changes.

Particular circumstances

Contact us for further information if your circumstances are not listed below.

If you’re a student

You can register to vote at both your term-time address and your home address, if you wish. You'll need to make two separate applications. Make sure that you register at the address at which you physically live in Cambridge, not the correspondence address for your college or hall.

Remember, it's a criminal offence to vote more than once in the same election. This means that you may vote in local elections from both addresses if they are for different local councils (as they are separate elections). You may only vote from one address for national elections, such as a parliamentary 'general' or European election.

If you’re aged 16 or 17

You can register to vote before you are 18, although you can’t vote until the day of your 18th birthday. When you apply you will be asked for your National Insurance number.

You can still register if you have not yet received your National Insurance number, but we will need to see proof of your identity, so it might take a bit longer to process your registration. We’ll send you a list of which documents you can use as identification – it includes a passport and a full or provisional driving licence.

If you live on a houseboat

If your boat has a permanent mooring in the city, you can register to vote in respect of your houseboat. If you don't have a permanent mooring, you should register with a declaration of local connection.

If you live outside the UK

If you're a British national living abroad, you can register to vote at General and European elections for up to 15 years from the date you were last registered as an ordinary elector. You should register in respect of the last address you lived at in the UK.

If you will not be visiting the UK when an election is taking place, you'll need to apply for either a postal vote or a proxy vote. We advise that you appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf as, while we make every effort to get your postal vote issued in good time, we can't guarantee that it will reach you and be returned in time to be counted.

If you’re a member of the armed forces

If you or your spouse/civil partner serve in the armed forces, you can register to vote for the armed forces in one of two ways:

  • You can register each year as an ordinary elector at the address where you live, or
  • You can register as a service voter with a 5-year registration, in respect of the last address where you lived or the address you would live were you not serving away from home.

If you’re posted abroad as a crown servant or British Council employee

You and your spouse/partner can register to vote for Crown Servants or British Council employees in respect of the address you last lived at in the UK, or the address you would live at were you not posted abroad.

If you will not be visiting the UK when an election is taking place, you'll need to apply for either a postal vote or a proxy vote. We advise that you appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf as, while we make every effort to get your postal vote issued in good time, we can't guarantee that it will reach you and be returned in time to be counted.

If you do not have a fixed address

You can register with a declaration of local connection for an address or place where you spend a substantial part of your time. For example a night shelter, drop-in centre or even a park bench.

If you live in a house of multiple occupation (HMO)

It is important that we obtain information on every person in Cambridge who is eligible to vote. However, you may live in an HMO and not know the name of everyone in the property.

If you cannot obtain all the names, or if some people refuse to give their name for the form, please complete the form as fully as you can and then tell us in the 'declaration' section how many people are not listed or have refused to provide the information. We can then make further enquiries to try to establish who else lives at the address.

Registration deadlines

2021 registration deadlines
Application deadline Registration date
Monday 21 December 2020 Monday 4 January 2021 – new register
Friday 8 January Monday 1 February
Friday 5 February Monday 1 March
Wednesday 10 March Thursday 1 April
Monday 19 April – last deadline before elections on Thursday 6 May Wednesday 28 April
Monday 10 May Thursday 1 June
Wednesday 9 June Thursday 1 July
Friday 9 July Monday 2 August
Tuesday 10 August Wednesday 1 September – no further updates to the register in the two months before a new register is published
Monday 22 November Wednesday 1 December – new register

There are usually no updates to the register during October and November, when we conduct the annual canvass in order to publish a revised register of electors by 1 December each year.

Contact us