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Voter Registration Basics

Voting Rights

This article explains how to register to vote and answers common questions about voter registration.

This article gives information on how to register to vote in Texas, how to update your voter registration, and answers other frequently-asked questions about voter registration. 

Who is eligible to register to vote?

In Texas, you can register to vote if you:

  • are a U.S. Citizen,
  • are a resident of the county where you apply,
  • are at least 17 years and 10 months old when you register (you must be 18 by Election Day to vote), and
  • have not been declared by a court to be totally mentally incapacitated (or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote).

Note: If you have a felony conviction, your right to vote may be affected. See below for more information.

How can I find out if I am registered to vote?

You can confirm whether you are registered to vote by visiting the “Am I Registered?” tool at the website of the Texas Secretary of State. You must provide your date of birth, along with your name and county, your driver's license number, or your Voter Unique ID (VUID) number. 

I'm not registered to vote. How can I register?

You must apply with the Voter Registrar in your county. Find the office location for your county voter registrar. You can either apply in person or by mail.

If you apply for a driver’s license or state ID in person, you should also be given the option to register to vote at the same time. 

Texas does not have online voter registration. However, you can fill out an application on the Secretary of State's website. This application must be printed out and mailed in.

You can also request a postage-paid application from the Secretary of State. They will mail a voter registration application to you, which you then fill out and mail back in at no charge. 

Other organizations in your community, such as public libraries and post offices, may have applications on hand.

There are also Volunteer Deputy Registrars (VDRs) who can accept your application. You can ask local organizations if they have VDRs available to help you register. If you would like to become a VDR and help others register to vote, you can find more information on the Secretary of State website here or check with the Voter Registrar in your county.

When do I have to register in order to vote in the election?

You must register at least 30 days before an election to be able to vote in that election.

Texas does not have same-day or walk-up voter registration.  

For the November 8, 2022 general election, your application must be received no later than October 11, 2022, which is the first business day after the 30-day deadline.

I am registered to vote but just moved to a new county. Can I still vote?

Because your voter registration is tied to the county where you live, you must register in the new county if you move. If it is before the registration deadline, you can update your registration and vote in the election in your new county. 

You can now update your registration address online through the Secretary of State's Voter Name & Address Change site, or you can re-register in the new county in any other way described above.

Note: This online form can only be used to update a registered voter's address, not to register.

If you are registered to vote in a Texas county but move to another county after the registration deadline, you must go to your old county to vote. Alternatively, you can vote in your new county using what is called a "limited ballot," but this option is only available during the Early Voting period. A limited ballot means you can vote on any nationwide and statewide races, as well as any district or local matters that overlap between your old county and your new county. 

My registration status is listed as "suspense." What does that mean?

County election officials sometimes put a voter's registration on "suspense" if they are not sure the address on the voter registration is correct. Usually this happens because mail is returned from the address on your registration. Even if your registration is on “suspense,” you are still registered and you can still vote. 

If you still reside in the same county (whether at the same address or not), you can vote at your normal polling place. You will be asked to sign a confirmation of your address when you vote. If you have moved to a new county, you can vote using a "limited ballot" in that county during the early voting period. Read more on limited ballots 

If you are still more than 30 days out from the election (before the registration deadline), the best thing to do is update your registration with county officials. As mentioned above, this can now be done online through the Secretary of State's portal

I registered many years ago at my address, but I have not voted in a long time. Am I still registered?

If you have not voted in the past two federal elections (federal elections occur every two years), you may have been removed from the list of registered voters. You should check your voter registration status using the “Am I Registered?” tool at the website of the Texas Secretary of State.  

Can I register to vote if I do not have a home address or am experiencing homelessness?

Yes, people who are experiencing homelessness or living in a shelter can register to vote. In this situation, you can include the address where you sleep most often as the place you "reside." This can be a shelter address, a park address, or even a street corner.

If you cannot receive mail at the address you reside, you must also provide a valid mailing address when registering. You can list the address where you receive mail, including a P.O. Box. (Note: A P.O. Box can be only used as a mailing address, not a residential address.) Some shelters and local nonprofit organizations may also allow you to use their mailing address to receive mail.

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