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Register to Vote

A picture of a hand with a pen over a voter registration form on a clipboard.

Registration Requirements

To register or preregister, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are a United States citizen.
  • You are a resident of California.
  • You are at least 18 of age or older on, or before, Election Day.
    • Citizens between the ages of 16 and 17 may preregister.
  • You are not currently serving a state or federal prison term for conviction of a felony.
  • You have not been found mentally incompetent by a court of law.

ImportantImportant: You must re-register any time you change your name, residence address, or political party. Please notify the Registrar of Voters Office of any change to your mailing address (if different from your residence address).


New Voter Registration Requirements

Voter registration requirements were changed by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Persons who register or re-register to vote after January 1, 2006, are required to include on their voter registration affidavits: 

  • A California driver’s license number, if they have a current and valid driver’s license
  • A California identification card number if they have one
  • If they have neither a driver’s license nor a California ID, the last four (4) digits of their Social Security number, if they have such a number 

If a person does not possess a driver’s license, state-issued identification card, or Social Security card, he or she will still become a registered voter; however, if this information is available, it must be provided.


Registration Deadlines

You must be registered 15 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote a regular ballot. Otherwise, you will need to vote in person via the Conditional Voter Registration process. For new U.S. citizens there is an exception.


How to Register

You can pick up a paper application at our elections office, any Department of Motor Vehicles field office, and many post offices, public libraries, and government offices.

Register Online

Register or update your current registration online at

ImportantNote: If you do not have a signature on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you will need to print, sign, and mail the application.

Request an Application be Mailed to You

Register in Person

  • Fill out a paper registration application in our Office at 435 Fiscal Dr., Santa Rosa, CA 95403


Voting in Presidential Primary Elections

When you register to vote, you have the option to select a political party preference.  A list of qualified political parties can be found on the California Secretary of State's Political Parties page.  For presidential primary elections, your party preference determines which presidential candidates will appear on your ballot.  Voters who did not select a party preference, or whose preference is for a non-qualified political party, will receive a ballot that does not include a contest for President unless they take action.  To vote for a presidential candidate in this election, these voters must specifically request a ballot of one of the parties allowing voters with no party preference to vote in its presidential primary. 

All voters, regardless of their party preference, will receive a ballot that includes contests for voter-nominated offices:  United States Representative, State Senator, and State Assembly Member; and any nonpartisan offices and ballot measures. 


First-Time Federal Voters

In federal elections only, any person who registers to vote for the first time by mail and does not provide a California driver’s license number, California identification card number, or the last four (4) digits of his/her Social Security number on the voter registration affidavit will be asked to show a form of accepted identification at the polls prior to being allowed to vote, or to provide a copy of that identification with his or her Vote-by-Mail ballot. If this information cannot be provided at the polls, the voter will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. There are 30 forms of identification that can be used for voting purposes under HAVA.

For further information, please refer to the full list of accepted forms of identification.


How to Cancel Your Registration

If you need to cancel your voter registration because you have moved outside the state of California, or you no longer wish to be registered to vote, you can complete the California Voter Registration Cancellation Request Form and hand-deliver or mail it to our office at 435 Fiscal Dr., Santa Rosa, CA 95403.   

California Voter Registration Cancellation Request Form(PDF)


Privacy Notice

Permissible Uses of Personal Information

Pursuant to California Elections Code § 2157.2, information on your voter registration affidavit will be used by elections officials to send you official information on the voting process, such as the location of your polling place and the issues and candidates that will appear on the ballot. Commercial use of voter registration information is prohibited by law and is a misdemeanor.

Voter information may be provided to a candidate for office, a ballot measure committee, or any other person for election, scholarly, journalistic, political, or governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State. Driver’s license and social security numbers, or your signature as shown on your voter registration card, cannot be released for these purposes.

If you have any questions about the use of voter information or wish to report suspected misuse of such information, please call the Secretary of State’s Voter Protection and Assistance Hotline.

Confidential Voter Status

Certain voters facing life-threatening situations may qualify for confidential voter status. For more information, please contact the Secretary of State’s Safe At Home program by calling toll free (877) 322-5227 or go to


California Online Voter Registration
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State Voter Information

California Secretary of State Elections Division

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The Elections Division oversees all federal and state elections within California