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California voter registration guide

Last updated: June 2, 2020
  • You can register to vote in-person.
  • You can register to vote online in California.
  • You can register to vote by-mail in California.
  • If you miss the voter registration deadline, you can register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time on Election Day.
  • Military and overseas voters follow a different process.

California voter registration deadlines

  • In-person: Election Day
  • By-mail: Postmarked 15 days before Election Day
  • Online: 15 days before Election Day

California voter registration rules

To register in California you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States;
  • be a resident of California;
  • be at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election;
  • not be imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony; and
  • not currently be judged mentally incompetent by a court of law.

Register to vote online in California

You can register to vote online if you have a California driver's license, a California permit, a California state ID card, or a social security number. If you don't have any of these forms of ID, you can still register to vote in person or by mail.

Register to vote by-mail in California

  1. Review the “Voter registration rules” section above and check that you're eligible.
  2. Download and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  3. Box 6 - ID Number: Provide your California driver’s license or California identification card number. If you do not have these numbers, provide the last 4 digits of your social security number. If you do not have any of these numbers, write "NONE" in this space.
  4. Box 7 - Choice of Party: California has a somewhat complicated primary system. If you do not choose a political party, you might not be able to vote in that party's primary election.
  5. Box 8 - Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank.
  6. Print, date, and sign the form. If you do not have a printer, you can print the form out at any local library. If you do not have a stamp, you can buy one from any grocery store: just ask the cashier to sell you one.
  7. Mail your voter registration form to the mailing address below. For faster delivery, send the form directly to your local election office.
  8. Your voter registration form must be postmarked 15 days before Election Day

Register to vote on Election Day in California

Double-check your California voter registration status

If you can't remember if you're registered to vote, or you want to make sure your information is correct, you can check your California registration using the California voter registration lookup tool.


Need help registering to vote in California?

Your local election office is responsible for running elections in your area. You should contact your local election office if you have questions about registering to vote. Mail your voter registration form to your local election office for faster processing.

State election office

This is the state-wide agency that is ultimately responsible for California elections. You can mail your voter registration form to this address. For faster processing, mail your form to your local election office.

Secretary of State  
Elections Division  
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor  
Sacramento, CA 95814