How to register on an electoral roll in Scotland

Written by maggie craig
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How to register on an electoral roll in Scotland
Scots must register to vote in U.K. parliamentary elections. (Getty Thinkstock)

In Scotland, the list of registered voters, known as the electoral roll or electoral register, is kept at local electoral registration offices. British citizens who wish to vote in elections must apply to go on the electoral roll. Some non-UK citizens who are residents of Scotland are also permitted to register. British citizens living permanently abroad may apply to go on the electoral roll in Scotland, although there are some restrictions.

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Instructions

    How to register for the electoral roll in Scotland

  1. 1

    You can register for the electoral roll in Scotland if you're at least 16 years old and a British citizen, although no one may vote until he is 18. Citizens of Ireland, European Union countries and qualifying Commonwealth countries who are residents of Scotland may also apply to go on the electoral roll. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those who have the right to remain in the U.K.

  2. 2

    Find your local electoral registration office. Look in the phone book or check online at the Electoral Commission's "About My Vote" website. On the website, put in your postcode to see the location of your local office.

  3. 3

    Phone or visit your local electoral registration office for a registration form or download the form from the "About My Vote" website. Complete the form with your full name, your date of birth if you are under 18, your current address and any address in the UK where you were previously registered to vote. If you are over 18, you are not required to state your age or date of birth.

    Mark the relevant boxes if you want to request to vote by mail or appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.

  4. 4

    Sign and date the declaration on the registration form that you are "a British, Irish, European Union or qualifying Commonwealth citizen." Mail the completed form to your local electoral registration office.

  5. 5

    If you're a British citizen who is living overseas, you can also register on the electoral roll in Scotland via the Electoral Commission's "About My Vote" website. To be eligible to vote in Scottish, British and European parliamentary elections you must have been on the electoral roll in the UK within the previous 15 years. If you were too young to register before you went overseas, a parent or guardian must have been registered on the electoral roll.

Tips and warnings

  • Students may apply to go on the electoral roll at their family home and at their school address. They can't vote twice in Scottish, UK or European elections but they may vote in local government elections in both places.
  • Don't assume that you will automatically be added to the electoral roll in Scotland. You must register in order to exercise your right to vote in local government, Scottish, UK and European elections.

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