Voter Registration in Rhode Island
Register to Vote in Rhode Island
To vote in Rhode Island, you must first complete voter registration. You have several ways to register, including at the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Read below to learn more about how to register to vote in RI.
Voter Eligibility in Rhode Island
To register to vote in Rhode Island, you must be:
- A United States citizen.
- A Rhode Island resident.
- At least 16 years old (you must be 18 years old to actually vote on election day).
- NOT deemed mentally incompetent by the court.
- NOT be currently incarcerated for a felony conviction.*
If you meet all requirements, you can register to vote. After registering with the Rhode Island DMV, you should receive notice in the mail of your voter status. If you do not receive a voter registration acknowledgement notice within 3 weeks, contact your local board of canvassers.
*Upon release from incarceration your voting rights are restored. You should re-register to vote. Those on parole and/or probation are eligible to vote.
Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.
Register to Vote in Rhode Island
As a resident of Rhode Island, you can register to vote:
- By mail.
- In person.
The state's Voter Registration Center provides various online services, and registering to vote online is one of them. Just visit the portal, choose the option to register to vote, and follow the prompts.
Be prepared to provide some personal information, such as:
- Your RI DMV-issued driver's license or identification card number.
- If you don't have either of these numbers, you still can complete the form for paper submission. Just follow the printing and mailing instructions.
- Your name as it appears on your driver's license or identification card.
- Your date of birth.
Once you complete the process, you'll review and submit the application and receive information regarding when you'll receive your voter registration card.
You can check your voter registration status (look up your personal voter information) using the same online registration tool, and you can contact your local board of canvassers if you don't receive your voter information.
By Mail or In Person
Rhode Island residents can register to vote by mail or in person by first completing EITHER:
To submit your form:
- Mail it to your county's board of canvassers.
- Take it in person to the Board of Canvassers or your local RI DMV office.
NOTE: If you mail your registration form AND you are registering to vote for the first time, you must provide ID information. See “Registration ID Requirements" below for more details.
You should receive a notification of receipt of your registration within 3 weeks of mailing it.
Registration ID Requirements
If you are a first-time voter registration applicant AND you are mailing your registration, you will need to provide either:
- Your Rhode Island driver's license number.
- Your RI DMV-issued ID number.
If you don't have a RI driver's license or ID, you can submit your Social Security number.
If you don't have any of this information OR if it cannot be verified, you'll have to provide 1 document proving your identification. See a complete list of accepted ID.
Military and Overseas Voter Registration
If you are in the military and stationed outside of Rhode Island or if you are a U.S. citizen living overseas, you need to fill out the Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application (Form 76).
This form can either be filled out by hand, or you can use the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) online registration.
This form doubles as both a registration form AND a request for a ballot.
To access your voter ballot, simply log onto the RI Voter Information Center.
Generally, out-of-state residents can register to vote using either the online registration or by-mail registration process listed above under Register to Vote in Rhode Island.
Once it's time to vote, out-of-state residents (or others who are eligible to vote absentee, such as residents who are hospitalized) can apply for a mail ballot. Applications for mail ballots must be received by the local board of canvassers no later than 4 p.m. on the 21st day before Election Day.
Understand that your application must be physically present in the office; any application received after the deadline, regardless of the postmarked date, will not be accepted.
NOTE: If something happens within 20 days of Election Day that prevents you from going to the polls, you might be eligible for an emergency mail ballot.
Change Your Name or Address
RI Voter ID Laws
In addition to the ID required to register to vote, you will need to present photo ID at the time of voting, such as your:
- RI driver's license or ID card.
- U.S. passport.
- Government-issued ID card.
- Other accepted forms of ID.
If you don't already have a photo ID, the Rhode Island Secretary of State (SOS) will provide you with a free voter ID card.
To obtain a Voter ID card, you can:
- Visit the SOS office at:
148 West River Street
Providence, RI 02904
- Go to one of several scheduled voter ID events.
To get a free voter ID card, you will need to prove your identity by presenting:
- An employee ID card.
- A credit or debit card.
- A student ID card.
- Other accepted forms of identity.