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  District of Columbia  

Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: 21 days before Election Day.

Eligible voters can also register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time during the early voting period and on Election Day.

You must have resided in D.C. for at least 30 days immediately prior to Election Day to be eligible to vote in D.C.


  • Primary Elections: TBD

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 15

  • General Election: November 5

For more information on upcoming elections in Washington, D.C., please visit:

Official Election Websites

More election information at:

Online Voter Registration Form available at:

Mail-In Voter Registration Form available at:

Register at School or Home

Students have a decision about where to register to vote.

You have a right to register to vote at the address you consider the place where you live, whether that is your family's home or the place where you attend school. You should update your registration anytime this home address changes.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

DC’s voter registration form asks for your DC driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

All applicants must provide proof of DC residence by including a copy of a document showing their name and current DC address. 

Acceptable proof of residence includes:

  • Valid District of Columbia DMV-issued ID

  • Bank statement, utility statement, government check or paycheck issued within 90 days of the election

  • Other government document that shows the name and address of the voter

  • Students may present a lease or a tuition or housing bill from a District of Columbia college or university, issued for the current academic or housing term

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

You don’t have to show ID to vote in DC. If you register to vote during the early voting period or on Election Day, you will have to show proof of residence that includes your name and current address.

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at:

How Can I Vote?

By Mail

D.C. does not require an excuse to vote by mail. The District of Columbia Board of Elections will mail a ballot to all registered active voters prior to elections.

Voters who will be away from the address associated with their registration can have their ballot delivered to their temporary address by submitting an absentee ballot request form. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by mail or electronically no later than the 15th day before Election Day.

Completed absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked or otherwise demonstrated to have been sent on or before Election Day and must be received no later than the 7th day after Election Day. Completed absentee ballots can also be returned in person at an Election Day or early vote center or to an official drop box, and must be received by close of polls on Election Day.

You can track your absentee ballot at:

Voters with disabilities may cast an accessible remote ballot online. For more information and to apply for an accessible remote ballot, visit:

Early In Person

Any eligible DC voter may cast an early ballot in person. For early voting dates and locations, visit:

Election Day

Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by closing time, then you have the right to vote.

Common Questions/Concerns

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

Federal Financial Aid

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA

Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes

Tuition Status

Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community

Will registering to vote in Washington D.C. affect my driver’s license or car registration?

A full-time student who is a resident of the District of Columbia is not required to obtain a D.C. license. For more information, visit the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles website at:

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Washington, DC legal professional.


Last updated May 2023

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