Personal Identifier Renewal

Postal Voting - Personal Identifier Renewal

Electoral Services are required by law to refresh all permanent postal voting applications every five years.  In January and February of each year, we send renewal notices out to any postal voters that have had their application in force for five years.  This is so we can confirm that the date of birth we hold is correct, and that we have a current copy of your signature (as a person's signature can change over time). 


What do I need to do?

If your postal vote application is due for renewal, Electoral Services will send you a form to refresh your date of birth and signature in January and February.  If you receive the renewal form and wish to continue to vote by post in future elections, you must complete and send it to Electoral Services by the date shown on the letter you receive.


Why do I need to renew this every five years?

Your date of birth and signature on your postal vote application are known as your 'personal identifiers'.  The personal identifiers on your application are compared with the date of birth and signature you provide on your postal voting statement at elections.  They must match in order for your postal vote to be accepted.  Completing a renewal application ensures that:

  • the correct person is voting
  • reduces the risk of postal votes being rejected at elections due to the dates of birth and signatures not matching
  • confirms that the date of birth we hold is correct
  • we have a current copy of your signature (as signatures can change over time)


How do I return my renewal form back?

You can either complete the form and return using the reply envelope enclosed with your renewal letter, or you can scan and email the renewal form to - please note, forms sent via email must be a scanned image (a photo of the application will not be accepted as it changes the layout and quality of the image).  Electronic signatures on applications will be rejected.


I am unable to sign my name, can I still have a postal vote?

If you are unable to provide a signature, or can not sign your name in a consistent way, you are still able to vote by post.  Please contact the Electoral Services office on 020 8770 4179 on how to change your application.


What happens if I do not return the renewal form back?

If you have been sent a renewal form and you do not return it by the deadline your postal vote will be cancelled; as required by law.  You will only be able to vote in person at your designated polling station (you will receive a poll card before an election advising you of the location).  However, you can make a new application to vote by post at any time. 

The deadline to apply for a postal vote for an election is by 5pm on the 11th working day before an election.