Register to vote

You can register to vote at the website if you are over 16 – you should do this well in advance of an election. If you change your name or move house you will have to register again.

Registering to vote as an overseas elector – changes from 16 January 2024

British citizens living abroad are now eligible to register to vote in UK general elections, regardless of how long they’ve been living outside the UK. A new law has removed the previous 15 year time limit.

If you have lived in or been registered to vote in the UK you now have the right to vote in UK parliament elections. You can register online on GOV.UK and will need to confirm your personal information every three years.

A UK general election will be held by the end of January 2025. So, if you are an overseas elector that was once registered we advise you to make an absent vote application.

An absent vote can be a proxy vote, appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf or a postal vote. Due to the tight deadlines, we do recommend that overseas electors choose a proxy vote where possible.  

You will need to provide details of the address and time you were last registered or resident. Reading Borough Council must be able to verify an applicant’s identity and past connection to the area.

More information is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with a post code lookup tool that helps voters living overseas find the contact details for their local authority, using the postcode of the last place they lived in the UK. Many voters living abroad choose to vote by post or proxy. Applications for absent votes can now also be done online.


Last updated on 14/02/2024