Registering to vote

How do I register to vote

Please register online as it is free, quick, easy and secure.

  1. Register online at:​
  2. Fill in your name, address, your date of birth, nationality and your National Insurance number.
    If your details have changed then previous name will be required and a previous address if you have moved within a year.
    Your National Insurance number can be found on your National Insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, benefits letters, P60


Each applicant’s details will be checked against other records to verify their identity before the registration office can approve their application. If a person’s name, date of birth and national insurance number are not verified the electoral registration office will contact them to either clarify any element of their application or to ask the applicant to provide documentary evidence to support their application.

Please note: paying Council Tax does not automatically put you on the Electoral Register.

If you do not have access to the Internet you can visit Contact Harlow at the Civic Centre and use one of our public computers for free. Alternatively, please contact us to request a paper form to be sent to you.

Who can register?

You can register to vote if you are:

Students are entitled to register at both their home address and university address, but can only vote once for the same election.

Frequently Asked Questions

The way you register to vote has changed - Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

The introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) means:

  • You are now responsible for registering yourself. Under the old system the ‘head of every household’ could register everyone who lived at their address but this is no longer possible.
  • To register under the new system, along with your name, address and nationality, you will also need your date of birth and your National Insurance Number
  • Anyone moving house or changing their details will need to register under the new system

You can find more details about Individual Electoral Registration (IER) on the Electoral Commission website.

Rolling Registration

The Electoral Register is updated on a monthly basis (January - September) however applications must be received by a cut-off date which is calculated according to the Representation of the People Act (1983) and Regulations (2001). The table below gives the deadline dates for 2018:

Alteration notice

Last date for applications

2 January 2018

11 December 2017

1 February 2018

10 January 2018

1 March 2018

7 February 2018

3 April 2018

12 March 2018

26 April 2018 - election notice

17 April 2018

1 June 2018 10 May 2018

2 July 2018

8 June 2018

1 August 2018

10 July 2018

3 September 2018

10 August 2018

Annual Canvass

The Representation of the People Act (1983) states that the Electoral Registration Officer must carry out an annual canvass of properties and produce a revised Register of Electors each year. The purpose of the Annual Canvass is to check the accuracy of the Electoral Register and invite anyone to register who is eligible and not appearing on the current Register of Electors.

At the end of July 2017 every household was sent a Household Enquiry Form showing the details we currently hold for that address. The 2017 canvass has now finished and the new register is now available for inspection at the Civic Centre.  We encourage you to check your details to ensure the information that we hold is correct. 

Please note that it is a legal requirement to respond to the household enquiry form and therefore we will be sending out review letters to all those electors who have not responded advising that they will be removed from the electoral register after 14 days if we do not receive any proof of residency.    

Inspection of the Electoral Register

The new register published on 1 December is available for inspection at the Civic Centre. More information on public inspection of register.

We encourage you to check your details to ensure that the information that we hold is correct. If you find that you are not on the Electoral Register or if you move house or your details change, you can go online to register.

After the register is published, if you find that you are not on the Electoral Register or if you move house or your details change, you should go online to register at​ or you can contact us for a form.