Voter Registration Requirements

  • You need to be a United States citizen.
  • You need to be at least 16 years old to pre-register to vote (and you may vote if you are at least 18).
  • You need to legally reside in the town or city and voting district where you want to cast your vote for at least 30 days before the election.
  • You can't have been lawfully judged 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 Rhode Island, please contact:

Elections & Civics Division: (401)-222-2340;
Rhode Island Board of Elections: (401)-222-2345;

Registration Deadline

  • Postmarked/delivered in person by: 30 days before Election Day.

Felony Information

Under Rhode Island law, if you have been convicted of a felony, you may not vote while you are in prison but you may register and vote when you are released or if you are on probation. If you are incarcerated but have not been convicted of a felony, you may vote by absentee ballot. As part of the release process leading to your discharge from prison, the Department of Corrections must notify you in writing that your right to vote has been restored, provide you with a voter registration form or a form allowing you to decline to register, and offer to help you fill out the form you choose. The Department of Corrections must mail your completed voter registration form to the state or local board where you live, unless you refuse to permit them to do so. For more information, visit Rhode Island's Elections and Civics Division's website.

Information for Students

  • You must be a resident of the state in which you register and vote. If you're a student from Rhode Island who attends school in another state, you may need to determine whether you're a Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island says about residency: Under Rhode Island law, your residence is the fixed place where you are physically present on a regular basis and intend to be for an indefinite period. It is the place to which, whenever you're absent, you intend to return. You do not lose your domicile until another one has been acquired. As evidence of your residence, you may use any of the following: (1) driver's license, (2) motor vehicle registration, (3) tax return, (4) credit card billing or other financial institution, (5) the address where you receive notice relating to taxable real or personal property, (6) the address provided to insurance companies with whom you have a policy, (7) the address provided to your employer, (8) the address provided to any business, union, fraternal organization or government agency, or (9) the address on a postal service change of address form.
  • If you determine you're a Rhode Island 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, Rhode Island 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

    First-time voters who registered by mail or through a third party need to bring ONE of the following:

    • A valid Rhode Island driver's license number, or
    • Rhode Island ID number issued by the DMV, or
    • Last four digits of your social security number, or
    • A copy of a current and valid photo ID that includes your name and photo, such as an out of state driver's license, U.S. Passport, employee ID card, or
    • A copy of a document that include your name and current address and is dated since the last general election. Examples of acceptable documents include a bank statement, a utility bill, or a document issued by a governmental agency. For a complete list of acceptable documents, please see Rhode Island's How to Register and Vote 2010 guide.

Same Day Registration


Early Voting Information

If you can't make it to the polls on Election Day, you can vote early by mail if you meet certain requirements. Your request for an absentee ballot must be submitted 21 days before the election, and your completed ballot must be received by 9:00 p.m. on Election Day.

You can vote by mail using an absentee ballot only if you meet ANY ONE of the following requirements:

  • You will be absent from the state on Election Day during the entire time the polls are open; or
  • You will be absent from the city or town of your voting residence during the entire time the polls are open because you are a student or spouse of a student at an institution of higher learning within the state; or
  • It would be an undue hardship for you to vote at the polls because you are incapacitated due to illness or mental or physical disability, blindness or serious impairment of mobility; or
  • You are forbidden by the tenets of your religious faith from voting on Election Day or
  • You are confined to a hospital, rest home, convalescent home, nursing home or similar institution, public or private; or
  • You are being detained while awaiting trial or imprisoned for any cause other than final conviction of a felony; or
  • You will be temporarily absent from the state because of employment or service connected with military operations or are a spouse or dependent of such a person; or
  • You are employed by the State Board of Elections or the local Board of Cavassers or a poll worker assigned to work on Election Day outside of your voting district

Secretary of State