How to register to vote in The District of Columbia

You can register by mail to vote 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 vote in the District of Columbia you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a be a resident of the District of Columbia
  • maintain residency in the District of Columbia for at least 30 days prior to the election in which you intend to vote
  • not claim voting residence or the right to vote in another U.S. state or territory
  • be at least 17 years old (You may 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 found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

Online voter registration

The District of Columbia does not offer online voter registration.

By-mail voter registration

Use the The District of Columbia voter registration form

You can also register to vote using the 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 13, 2020.

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 DC-issued 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 13, 2020.
  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.
  9. If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes: A current and valid photo identification or A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address. More information here.

Election Day registration

The District of Columbia does offer registration on Election Day.

In-person voter registration

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens 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. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
    • 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
    • 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
    • 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
  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. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov

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 3, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (received by) Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
  • The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 27, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
  • 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