Am I On The Electoral Roll? How to Find Out

Posted by Tom Magor in Electoral Roll on 10 November 2018 - Tom is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

Find out if you're on the 2019 Electoral Roll Online

In addition to providing the ability to vote, being registered on the Electoral Roll (sometimes called the Electoral Register) is of vital importance when it comes to your credit rating and how you'll be assessed. An Electoral Roll listing is often considered 'the hook on which all other data hangs' and therefore plays a key role in establishing a strong credit file.

How to check if you’re registered to vote

Checking your credit file is the quickest and simplest way to establish whether you are registered, but importantly, it shows you which Credit Reference Agencies are reporting your electoral roll status. When applying for finance, a lender won't go to your local council to check your electoral status, they will check to see how it is reported on your credit file.

See how Electoral Roll information appears on your credit report

Another way to see if you’re on the electoral register is by contacting your local council. You can find contact details for your local authority at the Electoral Commission-run site Your Vote Matters by entering your postcode.

How to check if you're registered online

At present the only way to check online whether you’re registered to vote is by checking your credit report. Local councils pass their electoral register information on to Credit Reference Agencies, who in turn update the information as it appears on your credit report.

Your checkmyfile Credit Report shows you:

  • If you're registered to vote
  • How long you have been registered at this address
  • If your address has been confirmed as valid
  • If you're opted in to the marketing version of the electoral roll (the open register)
  • Any linked addresses

What if my credit report doesn't show that I'm on the electoral roll?

If your credit report isn't showing your electoral listing, you should be able to fix this by contacting your local council and querying your status. If they agree that you are registered to vote, the issue may be with the Credit Reference Agency that supplied your report.

One of the benefits of checkmyfile's multi-agency credit report is that it allows you to see how your Electoral Roll status is being reported by 4 Credit Reference Agencies, not just 1 so if you're going unreported by anyone it will be quick and easy to spot.

You can try checkmyfile to see if you're on the electoral roll free for 30 days and then for just £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel at any time online.

Why is it so important to be registered?

When lenders look at your credit file, they view confirmation that you’re recorded on the Electoral Roll at your current address as a positive sign because it demonstrates stability. You may still be accepted for credit if you aren’t registered, but lenders are far more inclined to do so with the added help of this information.

You might also notice when you check your credit file that it’s one of the first pieces of info that appears, so for some applications (especially for larger amounts such as car finance or a mortgage) where your file needs to be manually assessed, you’ll find it's start on a positive note rather than a negative.

Not only is it important to be registered to vote, but it is essential to make sure that you are registered to vote at your current address, so if you have recently moved or are planning on moving, tell your local council as soon as possible. Without this information, lenders may struggle to retrieve your credit file if you give them your new address.

Benefits of being on the electoral register

Aside from granting you the ability to vote in local and national elections, your electoral roll status may make it easier to access certain services, including:

  • Getting a passport
  • Passing employer & landlord checks
  • Opening credit accounts

Who can register to vote?

Provided you are a British, EU or qualifying Commonwealth Citizen and will be aged 18 or over on polling day, you should be able to proceed without any obstacles. Once you have completed the registration process, you can vote in person at a polling station, by post or by proxy, which involves arranging someone to vote on your behalf.

How to register on the Electoral Roll

You should remember that you aren’t automatically enrolled when you reside in a property; it’s something you have to re-register each time you change address. Unless registration forms are sent to you shortly after moving in, you will need to contact your local council to register - you have the choice of applying online, by post or over the phone.

Registering to vote online is arguably the fastest and most convenient way to register.

When applying for credit, it is important to use the address as it appears on your electoral roll listing, as this is one of the key pieces of information used by lenders to verify you are who you say you are. That's why it's important to check your address carefully when registering to vote.

How long does a listing take to show?

Once the registration process has been completed with the local council, a common cause for concern is that the listing isn’t immediately reflected with the credit reference agencies. It typically takes between one and three months for a listing to automatically be reflected in data held by the UK's credit reference agencies. However if necessary, this process can sometimes be helped along by using a written confirmation letter from your council.

The Annual Canvass

The exception to the above is the Annual Canvass. This process occurs once a year and involves local authorities making contact with each address to establish who resides there as well as providing the opportunity to register on the Electoral Roll. Once the data collection process is complete, the Annual Canvass is typically published on December 1st although there can be some slight variation between local authorities. Due to the sheer volume of information collated, it can take a further month or so for the results to be reflected with the agencies. When the Annual Canvass is in process, the agencies don’t accept manual updates.

We update the status of the Annual Canvass so you can see if it is currently in effect.

If you haven't already, you can try try checkmyfile free for 30 days and then for just £14.99 a month after. You'll be able to see your electoral roll listing as reported by 4 Credit Reference Agencies, not just 1.

Updated 10/11/18 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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