Voting in Texas: What You Need to Know
To be eligible to register to vote in Texas, a person must be:
- A United States citizen;
- A resident of the Texas county in which application for registration is made;
- At least 18 years old on Election Day;
- Not finally convicted of a felony, or, if so convicted must have (1) fully discharged the sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court; or (2) been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disability to vote; and
- Not determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be (1) totally mentally incapacitated; or (2) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
Registering to vote is easy in Texas. It doesn't even require a stamp! Official applications to register to vote are postage-paid by the State of Texas.
In most Texas counties, the County Tax Assessor-Collector is also the County Voter Registrar. In some counties, the County Clerk or County Elections Administrator registers voters. You may obtain an application from the County Voter Registrar's office, the Secretary of State's Office, libraries, many post offices, or high schools. From our website, you may request that we send you an official, postage-paid application. Or, you may download an informal application, but you will be required to affix a stamp before mailing. You may also register to vote when you apply for or renew your driver's license.
Read the instructions on the form, fill it out and mail it postage-free to the County Voter Registrar, or hand-deliver it to the County Voter Registrar's office.
You must be at least 17 years and 10 months of age on the date you apply. If for any reason you cannot register yourself, with your permission, your spouse, parent or child may fill out and sign an application for you if that person is a registered voter or has applied for voter registration. This person is known as your "agent."
The application must be received in the County Voter Registrar's office or postmarked 30 days before an election in order for you to be eligible to vote in that election. You will receive a voter registration certificate in the mail after the County Voter Registrar has processed your voter registration application. Upon receipt of the voter registration certificate, sign it, fold it and keep in it in your wallet and take it to the polls with you when you vote.
All voters who registered to vote in Texas must provide a Texas driver's license number or personal identification number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety or the last four digits of your social security number. If you have not been issued any of these numbers, then you must state that fact on the application by checking the designated box.
A voter who has not been issued a driver’s license or social security number may register to vote, but such voter must submit proof of identification when presenting himself/herself for voting or with his/her mail-in ballots, if voting by mail. These voters’ names are flagged on the official voter registration list with the annotation of “ID.” The “ID” notation instructs the poll worker to request a proper form of identification from these voters when they present themselves for voting, unless they are a voter with a permanent exemption on the voter registration certificate. The voter must present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of identification:
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
- United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
- United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States passport