If you're unable to get to your local polling station on the day of an election you can vote by post.
Anyone who is registered to vote individually can apply for a postal vote, so long as you are aged 18 or over.
Absent vote signature renewal
If you have a postal vote, by law you must renew your signature every five years. If your signature needs to be renewed in 2016 we'll write to you in February with a form. You should complete the form and return it in the pre paid envelope provided.
If you don’t complete and return this form you'll lose your ability to vote by post and you'll have to complete a new application.
Apply for a postal vote
You'll need to complete the postal vote application form (pdf, 21 KB)(opens new window) (pdf, 21k) (opens new window) .
Each person requiring a postal vote must fill in a form.
You can apply for a postal vote for:
- one election
- a set period of time
- permanently, until you tell us otherwise.
The signature you give on your application form needs to match the one you use when you vote by post, so it is important you sign the same way each time.
If you can't provide a signature
If you can’t sign the application form, or can’t sign in the same way every time, you can apply for a ‘waiver’ using our postal vote waiver application form. (pdf, 33 KB) (pdf, 34k) (opens new window) .
If you live abroad
If you live abroad we recommend that you appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf, as there may not be enough time for postal votes to reach you and be sent back before close of poll.
After you've applied
You'll receive confirmation that we’ve received your application, provided there’s enough time before polling day.
If you applied for a postal vote in the past
You don't need to register to vote by post if you have applied for a postal vote from us before and have either:
- got a letter to say that you've automatically transferred to the new registration system in Summer 2014 and you still live at the same address
- registered to vote since June 2014 and requested a postal vote when you registered
If you’ve changed address since you last applied, you’ll need to register to vote again using your new details. You can ask for a postal vote when you register.