Photo ID Requirements
Virginia voters must show an approved form of valid photo identification, which include:
- A Virginia driver’s license or other ID issued by the DMV;
- A U.S. passport or other ID issued by the federal, Virginia, or local government;
- A tribal enrollment card issued by one of the 11 tribes recognized by Virginia;
- An employee ID card issued in the ordinary course of business;
- A military ID;
- A student ID issued by a Virginia institute of higher learning or public or private high school;
- A nursing home resident ID, if issued by a government facility;
- A free voter ID card issued by the Department of Elections.
A valid ID means that it is genuine, bears a photograph of the voter, and is not expired for more than 12 months.
If you do not have an acceptable form of photo ID, you can get a free voter ID card, for voting purposes only, from any registrar in the Commonwealth. Contact your local registrar for a schedule and locations where you can obtain the card. A list is available here. If you need a free voter ID card, we recommend that you get it as early as possible.
To register to vote
- You must be a United States citizen.
- You must be a resident of Virginia.
- You must be 18 or older on Election Day. If you are 17 years old, but will be 18 by the time of the general election, you will be allowed to register in advance.
- You must not currently be declared mentally incompetent by a court of law
If you’ve been convicted of a felony, your right to vote must have been restored. You may register to vote by mail. You may download the application here or you can pick one up at your local registrar’s office. You can find a list of offices here. You can also deliver the application to your local registrar’s office in person. Alternatively, you can register to vote online here.
Application deadlines are 22 days before a general or primary, 14 days before a special election, and 7 days before a special election called by the governor.
Check or Update Your Registration
You can check your voter registration status online by clicking here. If you have registered or updated your registration since the last election, you should check your registration to make sure all your information is up-to-date.
You can update your voter registration record online by clicking here or by resubmitting a completed Virginia Voter Registration Application to your local General Registrar. You can find a list of offices here.
If you need to update your voter registration, the deadlines are 22 days before a general or primary, 14 days before a special election, and 7 days before a special election called by the governor.
Check Your Polling Place
In order to have your vote counted in Virginia, you must vote at your correct polling place. If you’ve moved since the last election, you should also check the polling place where you’re registered to vote by clicking here. If you are confident you know where you’re registered, you can look up your polling place and your ballot here.
Voting Before Election Day
If you need to vote before Election Day, Virginia has an Absentee voting program. You may be eligible to vote Absentee By Mail or Absentee In Person if you have a qualifying reason.
Qualifying reasons are:
- You are a student, or spouse of a student, at an institution of higher learning outside of the locality where you are registered to vote in Virginia;
- You are absent for business purposes (includes persons who are employed outside of their locality);
- You are absent for personal business or vacation;
- You are working and commuting to/from home for 11 or more hours between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.;
- You are a firefighter or first responder personnel;
- You are unable to get to the polls because of disability, illness, or pregnancy;
- You are the personal caretaker of disabled/ill family members confined at home;
- You are awaiting trial and under confinement;
- You are serving time for misdemeanor convictions;
- You are a registrar, electoral board member, or officer of election scheduled to work on Election Day;
- You have religious obligations;
- You are an Active Duty Armed Forces or Merchant Marine personnel or a spouse or dependent residing with the Active Duty Armed Forces or Merchant Marine personnel;
- You are employed outside the U.S. or a spouse or dependent residing with the employee;
- You are living abroad indefinitely (may be eligible to vote only for federal offices);
- You are a political party or candidate representative volunteer scheduled to work inside the polls on Election Day.
Vote Absentee By Mail
In order to vote Absentee By Mail you have to apply to receive a ballot. You can get an application here to mail in or you can apply online here. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm the Tuesday before the election. Your completed ballot must be received by 7:00 pm on Election Day. You can find a list of offices here.
Vote Absentee In Person
Absentee In Person voting is available starting 45 days before the election and will ends 3 days before the election. Your local registrar’s office will have Absentee In Person voting during their office hours and some offices will also have satellite voting locations. You can check the schedule by calling your local registrar’s office, a list of offices here, or by visiting their website.
Information for Students
If you are a Virginia resident who attends school in-state, but in a different precinct, you can vote in the precinct where you live while attending school only if you change your registration. You can change your registration here.
If you’re a student from Virginia who attends school in another state, you should determine whether you’re a Virginia 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.
Voting from Abroad
If you, or a U.S. Citizen you know, are voting from abroad, they can register to vote and request an absentee ballot at www.VoteFromAbroad.org. If you have any questions about voting from abroad, you can watch this video or can email GOTV@democratsabroad.org.
In accordance with the Help America Vote Act, Virginia is in the process of making all of its polling places accessible for all voters. However, if you’re concerned about your ability to get into the polling place, curbside voting is available for voters over the age of 65 or those with disabilities. If you choose to vote using this option, an election officer will bring voting equipment out to your car so you can vote. You also have the option of requesting an annual absentee ballot.
All polling places in Virginia are required by the Help America Vote Act to have at least one accessible voting machine, so that voters with disabilities are able to vote with the same private and independent manner as those without disabilities.
However, if you feel as though you require assistance with voting due to a physical disability or an inability to read or write, you can receive assistance if you request it.
If you have a cognitive disability, you can still register to vote provide you are not currently ruled to be mentally incompetent by a court of law.
Information for Felons
In light of the July 22, 2016 Virginia Supreme Court Order, the Governor has revised the next steps to proceed with individually restoring the rights of persons who have served their time and completed supervised release. The Secretary of the Commonwealth (SOC) is giving priority consideration to individuals who request restoration of their civil rights.
In addition, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office has identified individuals who may meet the Governor’s standards for restoration: individuals who have been convicted of a felony and are no longer incarcerated or under active supervision by the Department of Corrections or other state agency. Prioritizing by date since release from supervision and starting with those who have been released from supervision the longest, SOC will conduct a thorough review of each of these individuals. Upon completion of its review, SOC will make recommendations to the Governor to restore the rights of individuals who have been determined to meet his standards. The Governor will review SOC’s analysis of each individual’s record and will make the final decision on proposed candidates for restoration of rights. If you want more information on the process, you can find it here. Those wishing to expedite restoration of their own rights may contact the SOC through the website www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/ror. Individuals without internet access can call the SOC at 804-692- 0104 or mail-in a contact form.
Upon the Governor’s approval, SOC will issue and mail personalized restoration orders. SOC will release the names of newly restored individuals monthly. The list will be made available by request. The full list will also be included in Senate Document 2 (SD2) as it has been historically. Anyone with questions on whether their rights have been restored can check here.
Virginia voter information current as of August 24, 2016.