Voter Registration - FAQs
How do I check if I am already registered to vote, or if my address is correct?
The Virginia State Board of Elections’ website allows you to check your voter registration, if any. Or you may call the Office of Elections at 703-222-0776.
What are the requirements to register to vote?
Be a resident of Virginia
- Someone in Virginia temporarily and intending to return to another state is not a VA resident
- A student or other adult out of state temporarily and intending to return to VA is eligible
- Be a U. S. Citizen
- Be 18 years old (Any 17 years old who will be eighteen years of age at the next general election – this year November 6, 2012) shall be permitted to register in advance and also vote in any intervening primary or special election)
- Not be registered/plan to vote in another state
- Not currently declared mentally incompetent by a court of law
- If convicted of a felony, your right to vote must have been restored
What do I have to do in order to register to vote?
Fill out the Virginia Voter Registration Application completely and return it to our office. (Original required; digital or faxed copies not acceptable.)
I moved (or changed my name) since I last registered to vote. What should I do?
You must update your voter registration in writing with your signature.
- If you still have your voter information card, update your information on the back and return it;
- You can fill out a new Voter Registration Application. There is no designated “change” form;
- You can send a letter with your updated information, so long as you sign it; or
- You can update your address when requesting an absentee ballot on the Absentee Ballot Request Form by completing the appropriate part of the form.
Whatever you choose to do, send it to us by mail, fax, or scan it in and send it as an e-mail attachment, but it must show your signature.
If you have never registered to vote in Virginia before and are filing an initial voter registration application, you must send in an original form; digital or faxed copies are not acceptable.
Do I have to show ID or provide any documentation to register to vote?
No. (You may have to show ID when you vote, but not when you register.)
How do I know that you processed my registration or updated by address or name?
You will receive a voter information card in the mail. Also, you can check your voter registration status online, or by using the Fairfax County mobile app available soon in the App Store and Android Market, or at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/voterinfo.
Are there deadlines for registering to vote?
YES. To vote in an election, you must register at least 22 days prior to the election. (The last day to register to vote in the November 6, 2012 general election is October 15th.)
Applications sent by the U.S. Postal Service are considered on time if postmarked on or before the deadline, even if they arrive after the deadline. Applications dropped off in person or sent by a commercial delivery service must arrive at the office on or before the deadline.
If you return your voter registration application after that deadline, you may not vote in the upcoming election, but you will be allowed to vote in subsequent elections.
If you are a military or overseas voter [see below], as different deadlines may apply.
Where can I register to vote?
You can register to vote in-person at the Fairfax County Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Parkway #323, Fairfax, VA.
You can also register in-person or get forms at a number of state or local offices, such as the following:
- VA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers;
- State offices whose primary function is to provide public assistance (e.g., TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, WIC, etc.) or services to persons with disabilities;
- VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries license locations;
- Northern Virginia VA Employment Commission offices;
- Public Libraries; or
- Armed Forces recruitment offices.
Do I have to register to vote in-person?
No! You can apply to register to vote by mail. You can download the application or we can mail it to you. Fill out the form, and mail it back to us:
Fairfax County Office of Elections
P.O. Box 10161
Fairfax, VA 22038-8061
IMPORTANT: If you register by mail, you may have to comply with special ID requirements when you vote in Virginia for the first time (See below, or call for more info.)
Can I register to vote online? Or by fax? Or by scanning my form in and e-mailing it?
No. While the Office can accept digital or faxed copies of address updates or absentee ballot applications, by law the initial voter registration application must have an original signature.
You can download the voter registration application form online, but you may not submit it online.
Can I update my voter registration by fax? Or by scanning my form in and e-mailing it?
Yes. Although, the initial voter registration application must have an original signature, the Office accepts digital or faxed copies of address or name changes.
Do I have to fill out the whole form? Including my social security number?
YES. Virginia law requires you to provide your full name, gender, date of birth, social security number (if you have one), your citizenship, your residence address, whether you have ever been convicted of a felony, whether a court has ever adjudicated you incapacitated, and your signature. Failure to answer completely will require us to deny the application.
Your social security number, as with the other required information, is mandatory. The Privacy Act of 1974 allows state governments to require a social security number if the state had been requiring them prior to 1975; Virginia’s requirement for a social security number dates back to 1971. Even though you must provide your social security number, your social security number is confidential and we will never share it with the public.
How do I register with a political party or indicate my political party affiliation?
You don’t. Virginia does not register voters by party.