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How to register to vote online in the EU Referendum – deadline extended?


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UPDATE 08/06/2016: Prime Minister David Cameron has urged people to continue registering despite the deadline having passed. The government is considering emergency legislation to allow those who missed the deadline due to a technical glitch to be registered in the referendum. More to follow.


We go through process of registering to vote in the upcoming EU Referendum.

As the EU Referendum draws ever closer, many of us will be eager to have our say on the future of the UK's involvement in European affairs.

It's certainly an important issue, but many of us may be yet to register to vote. Fortunately, the signing up process can be completed in a matter of minutes online.

Considering the deadline for registration is June 7, we thought we'd help the stragglers with a guide to how to sign up to vote online.

Here's all you need to know.

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Who can vote?

If you want to have your say on June 23, there's a few criteria you have to fulfil first. To vote in the Referendum, you must be one of the following:

  • A British or Irish citizen living in the UK, or
  • A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK
  • A British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years
  • An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years

You can find a list of European Union countries, Commonwealth countries, British Overseas Territories and British Crown Dependencies here.

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How to register to vote online

Met the criteria? You'll be glad to know the registration process is now really easy.

Firstly, it's worth noting that if you were registered to vote in the 2015 General Election or the May 2016 elections and you haven't moved address since then, you don't need to re-register. Also, if you live in Northern Ireland, there's a separate sign-up process to the one below, details of which can be found here.

If you are yet to register, or moved address since those two elections, here's how to ensure you can vote in the Referendum.

Live in England, Scotland or Wales? Just head over to gov.uk/register-to-vote and click on 'Start Now'. You'll need your National Insurance number to hand, as well as details of your new address and old address if you've moved. If you're living abroad, you'll also need your passport details.

Once you start the process, you'll be guided through some straightforward steps that ask for various details, including National Insurance number, addresses, whether you want to be included on the open electoral register etc. The process is easy to work through and should take less than 5 minutes.

Once you submit your application you'll be given a reference number. The application will be sent to your local authority, which will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your registration.

And that's it. Unless there's an issue with your application, you should be signed up to vote come June 23. The whole thing is incredibly easy, so get going now before tomorrow's deadline!


June 6, 2016, 12:30 pm

Somewhat misleading, it should have read 'How to register online in order to vote in the EU Referendum'.

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