How to register to vote in Iowa

This guide contains information about the 2018 midterm election held on November 6. It may be out-of-date.
 
Iowa offers online voter registration. You can register to vote by mail in Iowa 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 Iowa you must:
  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a resident of Iowa
  • be at least 17-1/2 years old (you must be 18 to vote)
  • not have been convicted of a felony (or have had your rights restored)
  • not currently be judged by a court to be "incompetent to vote"
  • not claim the right to vote in more than one place
  • give up your right to vote in any other place

Online voter registration

  • Iowa offers online voter registration.
  • You should know: you need an Iowa ID to use Iowa's online voter registration system. If you don't have an Iowa-issued ID, you can still register to vote by mail.
  • You can register online until Saturday, October 27.

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: Your ID number is your Iowa driver's license number (or Iowa non-driver's identification number) if you have one, if not then the last four digits of your Social Security number. The ID number you provide will be verified with the Iowa Department of Transportation or the Social Security Administration.
  3. Box 7 - Choice of Party: Iowa 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. If you choose not to register with a party, Iowa allows you to declare a party affiliation at the polls on election day.
  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 Saturday, October 27.

Use the Iowa voter registration form

You can also register to vote using the Iowa 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 Saturday, October 27.

In-person voter registration

  • You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote in person is Saturday, October 27.
  • You can also register to vote and cast a ballot in person on Election Day.
  • Learn more by visiting the Secretary of State for Iowa or contacting your local election official.

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 Iowa.

Check your voter registration status

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

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 6.
  • The deadline to register online is Saturday, October 27.
  • The deadline for registering to vote by mail is Saturday, October 27.
  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Saturday, October 27.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Election contact information for Iowa

Address:
Secretary of State
First Floor, Lucas Building, 321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone Number:
(888) 767-8683