By: Sam Doak
April 20 2023
This is not an valid form of ID at polling locations. A full list of acceptable documentation can be found on the Electoral Commision's website.
On April 17, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant posted advice on Twitter concerning the upcoming local elections in England, stating, “and remember you’ll need a photo ID like a driving license, bus pass, or passport if you are voting in person.” When asked whether a young person would be able to use their Oyster Card, Fabricant responded, “If it has your photo on, that IS acceptable as ID as it has been issued by a public body.”
Due to the passage of the Elections Act 2022, voters in the U.K. must now present an approved form of photographic identification to vote at polling stations. As the local elections are the first to be held under these requirements, there has been a significant amount of confusion around what constitutes valid identification in these circumstances.
Oyster cards are widely used in London and facilitate payments within the city’s public transport network. They are not, however, valid forms of ID at polling stations for young people.
For the majority of eligible voters, Oyster cards are not a valid form of identification at polling stations. The Electoral Commission has provided a complete list of acceptable documentation. These include passports, driver’s licenses, Blue Badges, and a range of other documents provided by the government.
The confusion related to Oyster cards is possibly due to Oyster 60+ cards being included as an acceptable form of identification when voting. These are issued to individuals over 60 years old, display a photograph of their holder, and allow free travel on public transport. No other form of Oyster card will be accepted at polling stations.
If voters do not have a valid form of identification, they can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate to participate in the upcoming election. These documents are free to obtain and can be applied for online at Gov.uk or by mail after completing a form available on the Electoral Commission's website. In some cases, voters may apply for a Voter Authority Certificate in person, although this will vary depending on their location. The deadline to apply for this documentation is 5 p.m. on April 25, 2023.
Young people may not use Oyster cards as a form of identification when voting in the upcoming local elections. A full list of acceptable documentation is available on the Electoral Commission’s website. This resource shows clearly that Oyster 60+ Cards are the only types of Oyster Cards that can be presented as identification at polling stations. We have therefore marked this claim as false.