Voter Registration in Virginia
To exercise your right to vote in the state of Virginia, you must first register to vote. Voter registration is available through several state agencies, as well as online and by mail.
Read below for more information about registering as a voter in Virginia, including eligibility requirements and deadlines.
Voter Eligibility Requirements
You can register to vote in Virginia if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen.
- Are a Virginia resident.
- Are 18 years old on or before the date of the next general election.
- HAVE NOT BEEN:
- Convicted of a felony, unless your rights have been restored by the governor or other authority.
- Judged to be mentally incompetent by a circuit court, unless your rights have been restored by the circuit court.
Register to Vote in Virginia
Virginia allows you to register to vote online, in person or by mail with government offices, and at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)office location.
You can register online using the state's online voter registration website.
The website will walk you through the completion steps and then you'll print and sign the form before mailing it to your local voter registration office.
For you to use the online format:
- The VA DMV must be able to send the Virginia Department of Elections an electronic copy of the signature the agency has on file from your driver's license or identification card; this means you must have a driver's license or ID card with a “customer number" you can enter on the application in order to use the online format.
- If you have a customer number but don't want to enter it online, you can choose not to consent and use another means of voter registration (see below).
- You must have and enter a Social Security number.
- Again, if you don't want to enter the number online, you can choose another registration option (see below).
In Person or By Mail
NOTE: You can download the form using the link above, or you can obtain one from the voter registration office.
At the DMV
Like other states, Virginia allows you to register ot vote or change your voter registration information at any DMV office location. Registering to vote at the DMV is as easy as filling out the voter information section on the Driver's License and Identification Card Application (Form DL 1P).
Military & Overseas Voter Registration
Virginia leaves a space for active-duty military members (and their dependents) and other overseas citizens to register to vote using the same options listed above.
However, the state notes you can also register to vote and request absentee ballots by completing a Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (Form 76) and submitting it to your local voter registration office. This form will allow you to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot.
Absentee Registration & Voting
If you're out of state or not currently in your county/precinct when it's time to register to vote, you still can register to vote using the methods described under Register to Vote in Virginia above.
If you're still out of state or not currently in your county/precinct when it's time to vote, you can apply for an absentee ballot.
The state provides the Virginia Absentee Ballot Application Form (Form SBE-701) which acts not only as a ballot application, but also:
- Acts as a guide on how to vote absentee.
- This includes the absentee ballot request deadlines.
- Lists citizens who are qualified to vote absentee.
- Examples include college students, residents dealing with illness or disease, and citizens who are currently incarcerated but still awaiting trial.
- Explains authorized ways you can deliver your completed absentee ballot.
NOTE: While Virginia allows overseas citizens (including military members and their dependents) to use this form to apply for absentee ballots, it still encourages these citizens to use the methods described in Military & Overseas Voter Registration above.
Deadlines for Registration
If you plan to vote in an upcoming election, be sure that you register by the deadline. Virginia voter registration deadlines are as follows:
- General elections: 22 days prior to Election Day.
- Primary elections: 22 days prior to Election Day.
- Special elections: 13 days prior to Election Day.
- Special elections called by the governor: 7 days prior to Election Day.
Changes to Voter Registration Information
If your name or address changes, you should complete a new Virginia voter registration application. You can use the Driver's License and Identification Card Application (Form DL 1P) or the driver's license/ID card notification form to make these changes at any DMV office. You can also update your information by:
- Sending a letter detailing the changes to your local registrar.
- Completing and mailing the form on the back of your current voter card.
- Using the Department of Elections online registration portal.
Apply for, renew, replace, or change the information on a driver's license, learner's permit, commercial license, or ID card.
Complete and submit this application to register to vote in Virginia.