How do I register to vote in DC?
To register to vote in DC, you must:
*You may preregister to vote if you are at least 16 years old and meet eligibility requirements. You will automatically be registered to vote once you reach your 18th birthday.
- Be a United States citizen.
- Maintain residency in the DC for at least 30 days prior to the election in which you intend to vote.
- Not claim voting residence outside of the DC.
- Be at least 17 years old and at least 18 years old by the next General Election.*
- Not have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote.
There are several ways in which one can register to vote in DC. To learn more, and to view a list of accepted proofs of residence, please visit the Register/Update Voter Registration
Am I already registered to vote in DC?
If you’re unsure whether you’re currently registered to vote in DC, you may check the status of your registration on the Check Your Voter Registration Status page. You may also inquire about the status of your voter registration by contacting our offices at (202) 727-2525, Monday-Friday, 8:15 am-4:45 pm.
When is the deadline for registration? Can I register to vote during Early Voting or on Election Day?
The Board must receive your Voter Registration materials at least 21 days prior to Election Day.
If you miss the deadline, Same-Day Registration is available at Vote Centers during the Early Voting period and on Election Day.
In order to complete Same-Day Registration during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, you will need to complete a Voter Registration Application, swear or affirm that you are qualified to vote, and provide valid proof of residence.
You can learn more about which documents qualify as valid proof of residence on our Register/Update Voter Registration page.
NOTE: If you are currently registered to vote in DC, you may not use Same-Day Registration to change your party affiliation during the Early Voting period or on Election Day. Requests for change of party affiliation received during the 21 days before a Primary Election will be processed after the Primary Election.
Once I register to vote in DC, do I have to register again for the next election? What if my name or address changes?
Once you have registered to vote in DC, you do not need to re-register or update your voter registration unless:
- You have not voted in DC within the past four (4) years.
- Your DC address has changed.
- Your name has changed.
- You wish to change your party affiliation.
If any of the above is true, you will need to update your voter registration. Learn more about how to update your voter registration on the Register/Update Voter Registration page.
We recommend checking your registration status on a regular basis to ensure that your information is accurate and up-to-date. You may check your registration status on the Check Voter Registration Status page of our website.
How long does it take the Board to process my voter registration?
By law, the Board has 19 days to process a voter registration once it arrives in our office. However, voter registrations are typically processed in fewer than 19 days.
I registered to vote but never received a Voter Registration Card from the Board. Am I registered?
Yes. You can check your voter registration status on the Check Your Voter Registration Status page of our website, or you can call our office at (202) 727-2525. A Voter Registration Card is NOT required to vote, but having it handy helps speed up the check-in process if you plan to vote in person during the Early Voting period or on Election Day.
Can I update or make corrections to my voter registration?
Can I register to vote using my business address or PO Box?
No. When registering to vote in DC, you must use your residential address.
Am I required to register with a specific party?
DC voters are not required to register with a specific party unless they plan to vote for candidates in a Primary Election. To vote for candidates in a Primary Election, DC voters must be registered with one of the following parties:
- Democratic party
- Republican party
- DC Statehood Green party
All registered DC voters – regardless of party affiliation – may vote for any ballot initiative, referendum, and/or amendment that appears on a Primary Ballot.
General Elections are open to all eligible DC voters, regardless of party affiliation.
How do I change my party affiliation?
To update the party affiliation on your voter registration, please visit the Register/Update Voter Registration page. Please note that changes to your party affiliation must be submitted at least 21 days before Election Day. Only voters registering for the first time in DC may claim a party affiliation through Same-Day Registration at a Vote Center during Early Voting or on Election Day.
I became an American citizen after the voter registration deadline. Can I still register to vote and participate in the upcoming election?
Yes, as long as you otherwise meet all voter qualifications by Election Day, you will be able to register and vote after completing Same-Day Registration during the Early Voting period or on Election Day.
A list of all voter qualifications, as well as a list of acceptable proofs of residence (which you will need in order to complete Same-Day Registration), is available on our Register/Update Voter Registration page.
I'm a college/university student in DC. Can I register to vote using my campus address?
Yes. You can register to vote in DC after you have resided at your campus address for at least 30 days. University housing statements and off-campus residential leases are acceptable proofs of residence.
Important: Check with your financial aid office to make sure DC residency/voter registration will not interfere with your financial aid package.
College students can learn more about voting in DC on our FAQ for College and High School Students page.
How many people are registered to vote in DC?