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Facts for New Citizens

Registering to Vote

After your naturalization swearing-in ceremony:

  • Carefully read and complete the registration-by-mail form provided.
  • Mail or return the completed registration to the Registrar of Voters Office.

ImportantImportant: You must be registered at least 15 days before an election to vote in that election ( see exception below).

You will receive a notice of your eligibility to vote within a few weeks after your registration is processed.

Important Exception

If you become a citizen after the 15-day registration deadline, you may still be eligible to register to vote before the next election:

  • You must register and vote in person at the Registrar of Voters Office at any time beginning on the 14th day before an election and ending at the close of polls on Election Day.
  • Bring your Certificate of Naturalization dated after the 15-day registration deadline.

Registration Forms

You can register online by going to the California Secretary of State's website. Paper applications are available at our elections office, any Department of Motor Vehicles field office, many post offices, public libraries, and government offices.


Political Party Preference

California law permits you to register your preference with a political party, or decline to state a party preference.

Prior to each election in which you are eligible to vote, you will receive a County Voter Information Guide which contains information on candidates and measures to be voted on in that election.

ImportantTip: Mark your choices in the County Voter Information Guide and take it with you to the polling place to use as a reference.

At your polling place, you will find additional voting instructions and pamphlets with State initiative and local measure information.

More about Political Party Preference


Vote by Mail

California law also permits voters to vote by mail.

More about Vote by Mail


Election Information

On Election Day, polling places are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM

The address of your assigned polling place is printed on the County Voter Information Guide, you may also visit our main page to access a polling place lookup site during an election. If you have questions about your polling place, please contact the Registrar of Voters Office.


Volunteer as a Poll Worker

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, refer to our Poll Worker Information section to learn more.

More about being a Poll Worker