Register to vote

Your name must be on the electoral register to be able to vote. Not everyone is entitled to be on or stay on the register - find out who can register.

How to register

The easiest way to register is to apply online:

Register to vote

It only takes about 5 minutes to register.

You will be asked to give your:

  • name
  • address and previous address
  • nationality
  • date of birth
  • national insurance number

Alternatively if you would like to register by post you can print off and complete the gov.uk register to vote form and either:

scan and email to: elections@arun.gov.uk

or return your completed form to:

Electoral Services
Arun District Council
Arun Civic Centre
Maltravers Road
Littlehampton
BN17 5LF

Please note: there is no automatic registration of electors from other records, such as Council Tax or housing records.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight, 12 working days before the election.

Who can register to vote

Not everybody is entitled to be on or remain on the register.

To be included in the register you must be:

  • aged 16 years or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18)
  • resident in the Arun district on the date of the application
  • a British, Irish, EU or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK or who does not need permission

You only need to register once, not for every election.

Overseas electors

You can register as an overseas elector if you:

  • are a British or eligible Irish citizen
  • were registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years (or in some cases, if you were too young to have registered when you left the UK)

As an overseas elector you can register to vote online through gov.uk register to vote.

Alternatively you can print off and complete the gov.uk overseas register to vote form and either:

scan and email to: elections@arun.gov.uk

or return your completed form to:

Electoral Services
Arun District Council
Arun Civic Centre
Maltravers Road
Littlehampton
BN17 5LF

Renewing your registration

Once registered you can then apply for a postal vote or a proxy vote. You’ll have to renew your registration every year or you’ll be removed from the register. You’ll get a reminder when it’s time to renew.

Students

Students can register at both their home and their college or university address but can only vote once in a UK general election.

If your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas you can vote in local elections in both areas.

It is a criminal offence to vote twice in a UK general election.

Public servants posted overseas

There’s a different service for public servants (and their spouses and civil partners) who are posted overseas:

Members of the armed forces

As a member of the armed forces you can register to vote if serving outside of the UK. Registering as a service voter means that you’ll only have to renew your registration every 5 years. You’ll get a reminder when it’s time to renew. Register online through gov.uk armed forces registration. 

If you have a permanent home address in the UK and want to be registered at that address, you can also apply online through gov.uk as a non-service UK voter.

Crown servants and British Council employees

If you’re a crown servant posted abroad (such as in the diplomatic service or overseas civil service) or an employee of the British Council, you can complete the gov.uk online register to vote Crown servants and British Council employees form.

Alternatively you can print off and complete the gov.uk register to vote as a Crown servant or British Council employee form and either:

scan and email to elections@arun.gov.uk

or return your completed form to:

Electoral Services
Arun District Council
Arun Civic Centre
Maltravers Road
Littlehampton
BN17 5LF

No fixed or permanent address

You can still register to vote even if you do not have a permanent address in the UK.

This may be because:

  • you are homeless or have no fixed address
  • you have been remanded in custody (but have not been convicted of an offence)
  • you are a patient in a mental health hospital

You will need to print off and complete the gov.uk register to vote if you haven't got a fixed or permanent address form and either:

scan and email to elections@arun.gov.uk

or return your completed form to:

Electoral Services
Arun District Council
Arun Civic Centre
Maltravers Road
Littlehampton
BN17 5LF

Learning disabilities and registering to vote

People with a learning disability have the same right to vote as everyone else. If you need assistance to register to vote there is a helpful step-by-step, easy read guide to registering to vote for people with a learning disability on gov.uk.

Anonymous registration

Anonymous registration was set up to help individuals whose safety would be at risk (or where the safety of other people at the same address as them would be at risk) if their name or address was listed on the electoral register – for example a person who has fled domestic abuse.

If you are registered anonymously your name and address will not appear on the electoral register.

Find out more about anonymous voting registration on gov.uk or email our electoral services team: elections@arun.gov.uk or call: 01903 737616 in confidence.

Change of address

If you have changed your address, you will need to complete a new register to vote application. 

Change of name

If you have changed your name or need to correct a spelling mistake in your name, you will need provide supporting evidence as proof, such as a marriage or birth certificate and print off and complete our change of name form [pdf] 166KB.

If you have changed your name and changed your address, you will need to make a new register to vote application.

Please scan and email your change of name form to elections@arun.gov.uk

or return your completed form to:

Electoral Services
Arun District Council
Arun Civic Centre
Maltravers Road
Littlehampton
BN17 5LF

Further information

For further information and help with registering to vote please visit The Electoral Commission or you can contact our electoral services team by emailing: elections@arun.gov.uk.