Registration

I’m not sure if I’m registered; how can I confirm my voter registration status?

A.

You can confirm your registration status on this website by going to Am I Registered? where you will select one of three methods for conducting your search. You can base your search on: 1. your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID), which appears on your voter registration certificate; 2. your Texas driver's license number, if you provided it when you applied for voter registration; or 3. your first and last name. Or, you can call the voter registrar’s office in the county where you reside.

I’m not registered, but want to vote in the May 6, 2017 Uniform Election; how can I be sure that I’m registered in time to vote?

A.

The deadline to register and be eligible to vote in the May 6, 2017 election is April 6, 2017. This can be either the postmark date or the date the application is received in the office of the voter registrar. You may, of course, register at any time before that date to ensure that your registration is effective for voting in November. You can obtain a voter registration application from your voter registrar's office, libraries, most post offices, and high schools. You can also fill out a voter registration application online or request a postage-paid application be mailed to you.

If I send my registration by the deadline, what happens next?

A.

Your voter registration becomes effective 30 days after it is submitted (and accepted*) by the county voter registrar. The county office will then put your name on the voter registration list, generate your voter certificate, and mail it to you. Once received, be sure to read the information on the back of the certificate, sign by the X on the "front" of the card (the blue area) and keep your voter card in a safe place.

*If your original application is missing required information, you will receive a notice in the mail and have a deadline to respond to the notice.

I am registered to vote, but I moved this past year. Is there anything I need to do to make sure that I won’t have a problem voting in May?

A.
If you moved within the same county where you are currently registered, you must file the new address information in writing with your voter registrar OR you may submit the "in county" change online. The last day to make a change of address that will be effective for the May 6, 2017 Election is April 6, 2017. If you missed this deadline, you may return to your old precinct to vote, if you still live in the political subdivision holding the election. If you moved within the county, you will have to go back to the precinct in which you are currently registered (your “old” precinct), and, at that location, you will be required to complete a "statement of residence" confirming your new address. This will act to update your registration information for the future. You will then be allowed to vote a regular ballot as long as you are otherwise eligible. If you moved to a “new county,” you must re-register in your new county of residence by April 6, 2017, to be eligible to vote in the May 6, 2017 Election (unless you are eligible to vote a “limited ballot,” see below). LIMITED BALLOT OPTION: If you have moved to a new county and have not re-registered in the new county by the April 6, 2017 deadline, you may be eligible to vote a limited ballot in your new county. A limited ballot means that you would be allowed to vote on any candidates and measures in common between your former and new county. This procedure is only available during the early voting period at the main early voting polling place; you may NOT vote a limited ballot on election day. You must be a current registered voter in your former county in order to qualify OR you must have been registered in your old county at the time you submitted a voter registration application in your new county, if you have done so. For full information on this procedure (including the by-mail option, if qualified to vote by mail), go to Special Forms of Early Voting (PDF). If you feel you qualify to vote a limited ballot, we recommend that you contact the office of the Early Voting Clerk in your new county.

I don’t remember seeing my certificate lately. Is that a problem? Don’t I just stay registered?

A.

New certificates are mailed out every two years to the most recent address you gave to the voter registrar. If you do not recall receiving a new blue and white certificate in 2015, it could mean that you have moved without updating, or there is some other problem with your registration. If the certificate was mailed to an old address, it would have been returned to the registrar as the certificate is not forwardable mail, and you would have been placed on the "suspense list" in that county. This means you have a grace period that allows you to vote in the same county in your old precinct, but if you do not vote, your name will be removed from the rolls after two federal elections have passed since you were placed on the suspense list. If you did not receive your certificate because you moved to a new Texas county, you will need to re-register.

How can I be sure that I’m still on the voter rolls in the county where I reside?

A.

You can check the status of your voter registration, where you will select one of three methods for conducting your search. You can base your search on: 1. your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID), which appears on your voter registration certificate; 2. your Texas driver's license number, if you provided it when you applied for voter registration; or 3. your first and last name. Or, you can call the voter registrar’s office in the county where you reside.

My registration status says Suspense; what does this mean?

A.
Suspense means that the registrar is not certain of your residential address.  If the registrar has reason to believe that a voter's current residence is different from that indicated on the registration records, then the registrar shall deliver to the voter a written confirmation notice requesting confirmation of the voter's current residence.  When a Notice of Address Confirmation is sent, the voter automatically is put on suspense.  As a common practice, a Notice of Address Confirmation is sent (and an individual is placed on suspense) when:
  1. The voter’s registration certificate has been returned as non-deliverable;
  2. A Jury Summons is returned as non-deliverable; or
  3. Any mailing that was sent to the voter was returned as non-deliverable.
  4. The voter registrar has received information indicating the voter no longer resides at the address on the voter’s record.

Will I still be allowed to vote if my status is listed as Suspense?

A.
Yes.  A voter whose status is on suspense is eligible to vote in an election provided that the voter completes a Statement of Residence either when voting by mail or at the polls prior to voting (within the same county as the voter’s current registration) or (if the voter has moved to a new county) completes a Limited Ballot application during Early Voting at the main early voting polling place. A voter on Suspense who has moved within the same county would be allowed to vote on Election Day by returning to the precinct in which the voter previously resided and completing a Statement of Residence at that time.  A voter may also complete a Voter Registration Application to update his/her address prior the Registration Cutoff deadline for any election and send the newly updated application to the Voter Registrar in the county in which the voter resides.

Does a voter have to vote in the main election in order to vote in a runoff-election?

A.
No.  Section 11.001 of the Texas Election Code prescribes the specific qualifications necessary in order to vote in a Texas election.  There is no requirement to have previously voted in the main election in order to participate in the subsequent run-off election.

When do the identification procedures go into effect?

A.
The identification procedures are effective immediately.

What kind of identification will be required to qualify to vote in person under the new program?

A.

When a voter arrives at a polling location, the voter will be asked to present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID (listed below). If a voter does not possess an acceptable form of photo identification and cannot obtain one due to a reasonable impediment, the voter may present a supporting form of ID and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter’s reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo ID, and stating that the voter is the same person on the presented form of supporting form of ID. If a voter has continued access to their acceptable form of photo ID, but, for example, forgets to bring their acceptable form of approved photo ID to the polling place and/or left it, for example, at home or in their car, the voter still possesses the acceptable photo ID and must use it to vote.

Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:

  • 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 license to carry a handgun 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

Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess an acceptable form of photo identification, and cannot obtain one due to a reasonable impediment:

  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck
  • Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)

My acceptable form of photo ID is expired. Will it still work?

A.

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the acceptable photo identification must be current or have expired no more than 4 years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.

What if I forget to bring my photo identification with me when I vote in person? Will I be turned away?

A.

If a voter has continued access to their acceptable form of photo ID, but, for example, forgets to bring their acceptable form of approved photo ID to the polling place and/or left it, for example, at home or in their car, the voter still possesses the acceptable photo ID and must use it to vote. Accordingly, if you possess, but did not bring to the polling place, one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo identification with you when you vote in person, you may cast a“provisional ballot” at the polling location instead of a regular ballot, or you may return to the polling place before the polls close on Election Day with your acceptable form of photo identification and vote a regular ballot at that time. In order to have the provisional ballot counted in the election, you will have to visit the county voter registrar’s office by the sixth calendar day after Election Day. At the county voter registrar’s office, you will have to show one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo identification listed above, or, if you qualify, submit a natural disaster temporary affidavit referenced above. If you present a proper form of photo identification or submit the natural disaster temporary affidavit, the provisional ballot will be counted.

My name on my identification does not exactly match my name on my voter registration card. Can I still vote?

A.
Election officials will review the ID and if a name is “substantially similar” to the name on their list of registered voters, you will still be able to vote, but you will also have to submit an affidavit stating that you are the same person on the list of registered voters.

Is there any change in the process for voting by mail?

A.

There is no change in the process for voting by mail for most voters. Specifically, there is no change in procedure for voters who are voting by mail after their first time voting by mail, and for first time voters who would otherwise not be required to present identification under the federal Help America Vote Act in order to vote by mail.

Does the address on my ID have to match my address on the official list of registered voters at the time of voting in order for it to be acceptable as ID?

A.

No. There is no address matching requirement.

How can I obtain a DPS Election Identification Certificate?

A.

Election Identification Certificates are available from all DPS driver license offices during regular business hours. Information regarding how to obtain an election identification certificate can be found on the DPS website or for mobile station locations click here. You may also contact DPS by telephone at (512) 424-2600 for more information.

What happens if (1) I refuse to show my acceptable form of photo identification, or, (2) if I do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification and cannot obtain one due to a reasonable impediment, I refuse to show one of the forms of supporting identification?

A.

Voters who refuse to show proof of identity will be allowed to vote by provisional ballot. However, please be advised that a refusal to show ID is not a valid ground for casting a provisional ballot, and it is likely that the voter’s ballot will be rejected by the ballot board.

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Provisional Voting

Provisional voting is designed to allow a voter whose name does not appear on the list of registered voters due to an administrative error to vote. The voter must complete an affidavit stating the reasons he or she is qualified to vote. Provisional voting is only used if the voter cannot qualify to vote by the methods described above. Important points are: (1) the cast provisional ballots are kept separately from the regular ballots; and (2) the voter’s registration record will be reviewed later by the provisional voting ballot board (the early voting ballot board) and is counted only if the voter is determined to be a registered voter and is otherwise qualified to vote. Provisional voters will receive a notice in the mail by the 10th day after the local canvass advising them if their provisional ballots were counted, and if they were not counted, the reason why.

Military & Overseas Voters

Military and overseas voters are welcome to use the regular registration and early voting by mail process available to all voters away from their home county on Election Day. However, there are also  special provisions for military and overseas voters.

Voters with Special Needs

Please read our special needs information to ensure that you are fully informed on the available services.

Student Voters

Student voters often seek advice regarding residency issues for voter registration purposes. For more information, please read Information regarding student residency issues.

We also have FAQS on Student Election Clerks.

Convicted Felons and Voting

In Texas, a convicted felon regains the right to vote after completing his or her sentence. Therefore, once a convict completes the punishment phase (including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by the court), the convict is eligible to register and vote in the state of Texas.

Liquor Elections

For information on the local option liquor petition and election process in Texas, please review our office’s educational materials.

Political Parties

For information on registered political parties in Texas, please contact those organizations directly:

Additional Information

We have information located in various sections of our website – “Voter Information,” “Candidates,” and “Conducting Your Elections” (for election administrators), just to name a few. You will notice that some information is repeated in different places; our hope is to gear each section to the audience for easier bookmarking and future use.

Should you need additional information, please email or call us at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683).