The two types of electoral register
When you register to vote, your name is added to the electoral register. This register is used for elections and other legal purposes set out in law. It is also used by credit reference agencies.
Your details will be stored on the full electoral register, but it is up to you whether your details are also kept on the commercially available edited register.
The full register
There are strict rules about what the full register can be used for.
The full electoral register is a public document which lists the names of everyone who is registered to vote. It is mainly used to draw up the list of voters for UK elections and referendums, but is also used by credit reference agencies to check credit applications and by public agencies for security, law enforcement and crime prevention.
Those entitled to copies of the full register and what they can use it for are given in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002. It is a criminal offence not to comply with these regulations.
You can inspect the current full register under supervision at the District Council offices. It is not possible to take a copy or a photograph of the full register but handwritten notes can be taken.
The edited register
The edited version of the electoral register contains only the names and addresses of those people who have registered to vote and who have not "opted out" i.e. people who have not told the Electoral Registration Officer that they wish their details to be excluded from it.
The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for any purpose, including commercial activities such as marketing.
If you want to opt out of having your details appear on the edited register, please indicate this on your registration form.
If you are completing an annual registration form for the household, you must also ask each person named on the form if they wish to opt out, then tick the box opposite their name.
Date of last review: 07 October 2013
Permanently 'opt out' of the edited register.
Under Section 11 of the Data protection Act 1998, you can give the Electoral Services Officer notice that you do not want your personal information to be used for direct marketing either permanently or until further notice.
To do this, you can write or email the Electoral Registration Officer stating that you wish to permanently opt out of the edited register. The address to write to is:
The Electoral Registration Officer
St Albans District Council
St Peters Street
Or you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You cannot do this on behalf of another person. Each individual who is must request to permanently opt out of the edited register.