Overseas, Service Voters & Crown Servants FAQs

Can British citizens living abroad vote?

Overseas Electors

  • At local government elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections British citizens living permanently abroad cannot vote. They can however vote at UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections for up to 15 years after leaving their last registered address in the UK.

Service voters and Crown Servants stationed overseas

  • Can vote in all elections (see next section)

Armed Forces (Army, Royal Navy or RAF) posted abroad.

How do I register to vote?

  • Service personnel and their spouses or civil partners posted abroad can register to vote through making a service declaration, which is available to download from the Commission’s website.
  • You can register at the address in the UK where you would be living if not posted overseas or at an address where you have lived in the past.
  • Service declaration forms should be sent to the elections office for the area where you wish to register

Armed Forces (Army, Royal Navy or RAF) living in the UK

How do I register to vote?

  • Service personnel and their spouses or civil partners have the option of making a service declaration (as above), or can opt to register to vote in the traditional way (as described in the registration section)

Service Voters

What methods of voting are available to me?

  • Service voters and their spouses or civil partners can vote in person at their polling station or can opt to vote by post or proxy.
  • Postal votes are only sent out about a week before polling day. If you are living or posted abroad you may want to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf as there may not be enough time for postal votes to reach you and be sent back before close of poll.

UK embassy /European Union / United Nations staff based overseas

How do I register to vote?

  • If you are working outside the UK as a Crown Servant or as an employee of the British Council, you can still register to vote. You can also register if you are married to or are the civil partner of a Crown Servant or British Council employee and you are accompanying them during their employment abroad.
  • If you are employed by the EU, UN or any other organisation not directly in service of the Crown you cannot register as a Crown Servant.
  • If you can register to vote you will need to complete a Crown Servant registration form, which is available to download from the Commission’s website or you can complete an online application via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
  • Only British Crown servants can register this way.

Crown Servants

What methods of voting are available to me?

  • Crown Servant voters and their spouses or civil partners can vote in person at their polling station or can opt to vote by post or proxy.
  • Postal votes are only sent out about a week before polling day, if you are living abroad you may want to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf as there may not be enough time for postal votes to reach you and be sent back before close of poll.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF THE ABOVE

Visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote