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The Electoral Register

Electoral Registration Officers keep two version of the register - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The electoral (full) register

The electoral register is used for electoral purposes and it lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote.

It can also be used:

  • to check credit applications
  • to call people for jury service
  • for the prevention and detection of crime
  • by candidates, registered political parties and other registered campaigners for election or referendum campaigning activities

The electoral register is a public document which can be viewed under strict control at the Local Studies Library, 64 Fawcett Street, Sunderland SR1 1BB.  By law you cannot take any copies of the register, either paper or photographic, although handwritten notes are allowed.

The open (edited) register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but it is not used for elections. This version is available to anyone who wants to buy it, such as businesses or charities.

You can find more information on The Electoral Commissions page.


Opting out of the open register

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

When you apply to register to vote, you will be given the choice to opt out of the open register as part of your application.

If you are already registered and want to opt out, please email us at confirming that you would like to opt out of the open register and provide your full name and address.


Registration dates

The electoral register was last published on 1 December 2023 compiled from the information received during our annual canvass.

The electoral register is normally updated on the first working day of every month except October and November (when we don't update due to our annual canvass).

The table below sets out the dates we need to have received your application so that your name can be added to the register the next month.

It also has the dates we need to have received any further evidence from you so your details can be added to the register.

We need to have received your application by...If you are asked to provide further evidence, we need to have it by...To include you in the register that's published on...
22 November 202330 November 202301 December 2023
11 December 202319 December 202302 January 2024
10 January 202418 January 202401 February 2024
08 February 202416 February 202401 March 2024
11 March 202419 March 202402 April 2024
09 April 202417 April 202401 May 2024
10 May 202420 May 202403 June 2024
07 June 202417 June 202401 July 2024
10 July 202418 July 202401 August 2024
9 August 202419 August 202402 September 2024
No register is published in either October or November, so any application received after 9 August 2024 will not appear on the register until 2 December 2024
21 November 02 December 2024

Note that during an election, we publish extra alterations to the register, in addition to those dates listed above. 

Checking you're registered to vote

To check if you're registered to vote, please email us at or call us on 0191 5205550, including your full name and address.

Credit and Credit Reference Agencies

Credit Reference Agencies are entitled to purchase a COPY of the electoral register when it is published, usually at the beginning of December. Some credit reference agencies (not all) also purchase copies of the alterations to the register which we publish on a monthly basis as set out in right hand column of the table above.

It is important to understand that Credit Reference Agencies do not have direct access to the electoral register. If you're denied credit or are told you have a low credit score because your name is not on the electoral register, what this actually means is that you may not appear on their COPY, which could be weeks or even months out of date (see table above). 

For example (looking at the table above), if you apply to register to vote on 9 February 2024, you'll have missed appearing on the register updates that we will publish on 1 March and won't actually appear until the register is next published on 2 April, nearly 2 months later. This means that if you applied between 9 Februray and 11 March, and checked your credit score, the credit reference agency may incorrectly tell you that you are not registered to vote. You will be (so long as the application is determined without queries), but the very earliest the Credit Reference Agencies will have your registration details in that case is 2 April. It may be several days or weeks afterwards until you appear on their records depending on when they process the data we send them after we publish.

We have no control over the data once it is passed onto each Credit Reference Agency. We cannot contact Credit Reference Agencies for you to discuss your registration status on their records, your application for credit or people previously registered at your address. You will have to contact the respective Credit Reference Agency directly.


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