Voter Registration Requirements

  • You need to be a United States citizen.
  • You need to be a resident of California.
  • You need to be 18 or older on Election Day.
  • You can't be in prison or on parole as a result of a felony conviction.
  • You can't have been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent.
  • If you're a first-time voter who registers by mail, you're required to submit proof of identification either at the time of registration or when you vote. You can include a copy of your identification with your registration form today! Acceptable forms of ID include: a current utility bill, bank statement, valid photo ID, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
  • Don't forget -- your state may have additional ID requirements when you go to the polls.
If you have additional questions about voting in California, please contact:

Elections Division: (916)-657-2166; elections@sos.ca.gov

Registration Deadline

  • Postmarked/hand-delivered by: 15 days before Election Day.

Felony Information

Under California law, if you've been convicted of a felony, you can register and vote when you are no longer incarcerated or on parole. You may vote while on probation. For more information on how to register and vote after a felony conviction, contact the California Secretary of State at 916-657-2166.

Information for Students

  • You must be a resident of the state in which you register and vote. If you're a student from California who attends school in another state, you may need to determine whether you're a California resident or a resident of the state where you attend school. The important thing to keep in mind is that you may only cast your vote in one state.
  • Here's what California says about residency: You may register and vote where you are domiciled. "Domicile" means the place where you have a fixed place to live, where you intend to remain, and that you intend to return to when you're away (in order to create a new domicile, you need to have both the intent to establish a new domicile and the removal from your current domicile).
  • If you determine you're a California resident, but will not be present in this state or will be away from your home district on Election Day, be sure to check the absentee ballot application requirements and deadlines. In addition, California residents who attend school in-state, but in a different election district, may be eligible to register and vote in the election district where they live while attending school.
  • To determine whether you're a resident of a different state where you attend school, be sure to check that state's residency requirements.

Identification Information

If you are a first-time voter in California and you registered to vote by mail, you may be asked to provide proof of identification when you vote.

Acceptable forms of ID include a current and valid photo ID (such as a driver's license, credit or debit card, or student ID) or another document that shows your name and address and is dated since the last general election (such as a current utility bill, bank statement, or voter notification card).

Same Day Registration

No

Early Voting Information


If you can't make it to the polls on Election Day or you would prefer to vote early, you can do so either by mail or in person, and no excuse is required.

To vote by mail, request an absentee ballot by October 30, 2012. Returned absentee ballots need to be received by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Apply to vote by mail or become a permanent vote-by-mail voter here.

Get more information from California's Secretary of State.


Secretary of State