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Register to vote or update your details

If your name isn't on the electoral register, you can't have your say in issues that affect you. It's easy to register. You just need to provide a few details, including your national insurance number and date of birth.

When registered, your details will be added to the electoral register. Jump to the application deadlines for 2017/18.

Read an easy-read guide to voting [PDF, 1MB], which explains how to register and the different ways you can vote. It was written by Mencap, the charity for people with a learning disability.

Annual canvass

Every year from August to November we carry out an audit of the register, known as the annual canvass. We do this to check that the people we have registered to vote at each residential address are still correct.

We are now sending out enquiry forms for the 2018 canvass.

  • To tell us about any changes, or to confirm that nothing has changed, tell us online or return the enquiry form in the pre-paid envelope provided.
  • If no changes are needed, you can text 07786 209 430 (message and data rates may apply) or call freephone 0808 284 1430.

If you respond using the website, telephone or text facilities, you will need the two part security code printed on the enquiry form to access the service. You then do not need to return the form, so please destroy it securely.

Every household must respond to the enquiry form so that we can be sure the data we hold is correct and up-to-date. Even if someone in the property only recently registered to vote, the property is empty or no-one is eligible to vote: we still need a response to the enquiry form. If you do not respond, we will send you a reminder during September.

An updated version of the register of electors will be published on 1 December 2018.

If you live in the Petersfield ward of the city, you will need to be registered to vote by Tuesday 28 August if you want to vote in the city council by-election to be held on Thursday 13 September. The enquiry form that we send during the annual canvass is not a registration form, so if your name is not printed on the form you need to apply to register to vote by the deadline.

Who can register

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 years or over (although you can't vote until you're 18); and
  • a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen (eligible for all elections)
  • be a citizen of a European Union country (eligible for local and European parliamentary elections only)
  • and living at an address in the authority's area


  • EU citizens are only eligible to vote in local and European parliamentary elections. When a European election is due, we will write to all registered EU nationals with a form that must be completed if they want to vote here.
  • Nationals of The Gambia and The Maldives are no longer eligible to register to vote in the UK, following their withdrawal from the Commonwealth and the subsequent amendment to UK legislation that removed their voting franchise.

Particular circumstances

If your circumstances are not listed below, you can email us at for further information.

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 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 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 five 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 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 and establish who else lives at the address.

Registration deadlines

Registration deadlines 2017/18
If you apply before midnight on: You will be registered from:
Wednesday 22 November 2017 Friday 1 December
Monday 11 December Tuesday 2 January 2018
Wednesday 10 January Thursday 1 February
Wednesday 7 February Thursday 1 March
Monday 12 March Tuesday 3 April
Tuesday 17 April (last before 3 May elections) Thursday 26 April
Thursday 10 May Friday 1 June
Friday 8 June Monday 2 July
Tuesday 10 July Wednesday 1 August
Friday 10 August Monday 3 September

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