Overseas, service voters and crown servants FAQs

Please Note: 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.

1. British citizens living abroad allowed to vote:

1.1 Overseas electors

  • Can vote at UK Parliamentary elections after leaving the UK - now no time limit on when they left
  • Overseas electors can be registered either (i) based on their last registered address in the UK, or if they were not previously registered, (ii) the last address where they were resident in the UK
  • Cannot vote at local government elections or Police and Crime Commissioner elections
  • Further information on voting when abroad (external link) on GOV.UK's website

1.2 Service voters and crown servants stationed overseas 

  • Can vote in all elections (see next section) 

2. How do I register to vote? 

2.1 Armed Forces (Army, Royal Navy or RAF) posted abroad and their spouses/civil partners. 

  • Can register to vote through making a service declaration, which is available to download from the Commission’s website (external link). (Service declaration forms should be sent to the elections office for the area where you wish to register) 
  • 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

2.2 Armed forces (Army, Royal Navy or RAF) living in the UK and their spouses/civil partners 

  • Can register to vote through making a service declaration
  • Can opt to register to vote in person at their polling station or by by post or proxy

2.3 Crown servants, UK embassy, European Union or United Nations staff based overseas and their spouses/civil partners 

Further information on overseas, service voters and Crown servants (external link)