Special category electors
Special arrangements apply to the following:
If you are a British citizen living outside the United Kingdom for longer than six months of the year, you may be able to register as an overseas voter.
To register as an overseas elector you must be a British Citizen and meet one of two sets of conditions:
- your name was previously on the electoral register for an address in the UK and
- there are no more than 15 years between the qualification date of that register and the date on your application to register as an overseas elector.
- you have reached the age of 18 whilst living abroad
- you were too young to be on the electoral roll before you left the UK or
- a parent or guardian was on that electoral register for the address at which you were living on that date.
An application lasts one year and we will write to you three months before your registration is due to expire. If your correspondence/overseas address changes, please inform us immediately by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an overseas voter, you are eligible to vote in elections for the UK Parliament and the European Parliament. You cannot vote in UK local elections or Mayoral elections or the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections.
How to register
You can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. More information can be found on your vote matters.
How to vote
Overseas voters can apply to vote by post or by proxy (someone voting on your behalf).
HM Forces service voters
If you are a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, or the spouse or registered civil partner of a member of the Armed Forces, and you are a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth or EU citizen you can register either as a service voter or as an ordinary voter.
Registering as a service voter
Registering as a service voter is particularly useful if you are based overseas or think you may be posted overseas in the next few years. This allows you to be registered for five years at a fixed address in the UK even if you move around. We will write to you three months before your registration is due to expire to allow you renew your application.
Service voters are entitled to vote in the Local, UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections in the UK. Find out more and register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote-armed-forces
Registering as an ordinary voter
If you're based in the UK and are unlikely to be posted overseas or change address in the next year, you can alternatively register to vote as an ordinary voter.
How to vote
You can apply to vote by post or by proxy (someone voting on your behalf).
Crown servants and British Council employees
If you are working outside the UK as a Crown Servants (e.g. in the diplomatic or overseas civil service) or an employee of the British Council, you can register to vote in the UK.
You can also register as a service voter if your spouse or civil partner is a member of the Crown Servant or British Council employee and you are accompanying them during their employment abroad.
You need to be registered at the address where you would be living if you were in the UK, or at your last registered UK address. If your correspondence/overseas address changes, please inform us immediately by sending an email to email@example.com.
British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries can vote at all elections. Citizens of other EU countries can vote in local government elections, but cannot vote in UK parliamentary elections.
An application lasts one year and we will write to you three months before your registration is due to expire.
If you want to register to vote, you can apply online at any time at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote-crown-servants-british-council-employees.
How to vote
Overseas voters can apply to vote by post or proxy (someone voting on your behalf).
Someone with no fixed or permanent address
You can still register to vote even if you do not have a fixed address. This could be because:
- you are homeless or have no fixed address (this would include guardian of commercial properties)
- you are a person who has been remanded in custody, but you have not yet been convicted of any offence
- you are a patient in a mental health hospital.
To register, you need to give an address where you would be living if it were not for your current situation or an address where you have lived in the past. If you are homeless, you can give details of where you spend a substantial part of your time.
Find out more information about registering to vote with no fixed address. To request a form, please contact the Electoral Services office on 020 7364 5000.
You may be able to register anonymously if you are concerned about your name and address appearing on the electoral register because you think that it could affect your personal safety, or the safety of someone in the same household as you.
You will need to:
- explain why your safety (or the safety of someone in the same household as you) would be at risk if your name and address appeared on the electoral register
- provide documentary evidence of a court order or an attestation from a qualifying officer to support your application.
A qualifying officer can be any of the following (anywhere in the UK):
Find out more information on registering to vote anonymously. To request a form, please contact the Electoral Services office on 020 7364 5000.
- a police officer of or above the rank of superintendent in any police force in the UK
- Director General of the Security Services or the National Crime Agency
- A Director of Adult Social Services or Children’s Services in England, a Director of Social Services in Wales, a Chief Social Work Officer in Scotland, a Director of Social Services.