There are many sites offering online electoral roll searches, but are they really worth it? Unfortunately there is no cut and dry answer for this, as each individual has different needs and differing situations. We will however try to help you determine if it’s right for you.
Firstly, there are 2 different versions of the electoral roll in the UK, the public version, and the restricted version. The restricted version has the details of each and every person registered to vote; the public one does not. Unless you are in law enforcement or similar, you can rule out accessing the restricted one. The public version is what you’ll find online.
There are 2 versions of the Electoral Roll
Now the public version may be useful, but it has its restrictions. Anyone can opt out of the public roll, and this is an important point. As the public electoral roll is available to marketing companies and the like, there are many who are choosing to opt out. Anyone not looking to be found is almost certain to opt out.
You may view the Electoral Roll for free
The electoral roll is also available for viewing free at council electoral offices and also at many libraries, however certain services such as a confirmation letter may attract a fee. You will also find historical versions available in many areas.
Why then would anyone want to search the electoral roll online? Convenience, pure and simple. If you’re in a rush, or don’t want to make the effort to visit somewhere to conduct a search, simply pay for it online get a result.
Tip: The online searches offer a free search that will return peoples names on the roll. Why not run a quick check online first of all, then if you’re a skinflint and don’t feel like paying, drop into a library or electoral office and have a look at the full details there. At least you know your trip out won’t be wasted searching for someone who isn’t even on the electoral roll.