Two East Lancashire borough councils have reminded residents to check they have a valid form of photo ID ahead of this year’s local elections on May 4.

New legislation brought in last year means people must have an accepted form of photo ID in order to cast their ballot, and the local elections will be the first time this is put into force.

Hyndburn and Rossendale councils have both released statements reminding their residents to check whether their ID is valid and, if not, to apply for a free ID either online or via a paper form.

The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, but includes a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass.

Voters will also be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable in the photo.

Ailsa Irvine, director of electoral administration and guidance, said: “Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper.

“It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it.

“You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.”

Clare Birtwistle, deputy returning officer at Rossendale Council, said: “With elections taking place in Rossendale on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID.

“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to Rossendale’s electoral services team.”

The same message was conveyed by a spokesperson for Hyndburn Council.