How to register to vote in the District of Columbia

This guide contains information about the 2018 midterm election held on November 6. It may be out-of-date.
 
The District of Columbia offers online voter registration. You can register to vote by mail in the District of Columbia by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer.

Who can vote

To register in the District of Columbia you must:
  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a District of Columbia resident at least 30 days preceding the next election
  • be at least 16 years old (You may pre-register to vote if you are at least 16 years old. You may vote in a primary election if you are at least 17 years old and you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election. You may vote in a general or special election if you are at least 18 years old.)
  • not be in jail for a felony conviction
  • not have been judged "mentally incompetent" by a court of law
  • not claim the right to vote anywhere outside D.C.

Online voter registration

  • The District of Columbia offers online voter registration.
  • You should know: you need a DC-issued driver's license or a mobile device to use the DC online voter registration system. Your registration can include your license number or a digital signature, or you can register to vote by mail.
  • You can register online until Tuesday, October 16.

By-mail voter registration

Use the National Voter Registration Form

  1. Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Box 6 - ID Number: Federal law now requires that all voter registration applications must include either the applicant's driver's license number or the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number in order to be processed.
  3. Box 7 - Choice of Party: The District of Columbia requires that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections. You should register with the party whose primary you would like to vote in.
  4. Box 8 - Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
  5. Review the "Who can vote?" section above and check that you're eligible.
  6. Sign the form.
  7. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be received by Tuesday, October 16.
  8. When registering for the first time by mail you will need to include a copy of one of the following: a current and valid government photo identification; a current utility bill; a current bank statement; a current government check; a paycheck; or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

Use the the District of Columbia voter registration form

You can also register to vote using the District of Columbia voter registration form. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill it out completely. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be received by Tuesday, October 16.

In-person voter registration

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you fill out your voter registration form, send you election reminders, and more. If you'd like more help registering to vote, TurboVote can walk you through the process.

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and voters living outside the US can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:
  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in the District of Columbia.

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using the District of Columbia's voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 6.
  • The deadline to register online is Tuesday, October 16.
  • The deadline for registering to vote by mail is Tuesday, October 16.
  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, November 6.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Election contact information for the District of Columbia

Address:
Board of Elections
1015 Half Street SE Suite 750
Washington, DC 20003

Phone Number:
(202) 727-2525