What are the requirements for voting in Virginia?

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, as well as a resident of Virginia and of the precinct in which you intend to vote.
  • You must be at least 18 by the next November general election (you can vote in the primary or special elections at 17 if you will be 18 by the next November general election).
  • You must register to vote. If you do not register by the deadline, you can still go to your polling place in person, register, and vote a provisional ballot.
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony as an adult, unless your right to vote has been restored.
  • You must not have been declared mentally incompetent, unless your competency has been re-established.
  • You must show valid identification such as a state-issued ID card, driver’s license, or passport. If you do not show an acceptable ID, you can complete an ID Confirmation Statement.

Where do I vote?

You can vote early, in person (usually at your Registrar’s Office or a satellite office); absentee, by mail; or you can vote on Election Day at your designated “polling place.” When you receive your voter registration notice, the address of your polling place will be provided, as well as contact information for your registrar. If you are still unsure of where to vote, consult the registrar for your locality.

Registering to vote—how do I do it?

If you have a driver’s license or identification card issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, you can complete and submit your voter registration application online by accessing the Department of Elections’ website at

You also may fill out the application to register that is available at your local library, post office, DMV branch, or through your local registrar. Applications also are available online at the Department of Elections’ website: If you have any specific questions about voter registration, call the State Board of Elections at (800) 552-9745.

Can I register on Election Day?

You can register to vote before your eighteenth birthday if you will be 18 when the next November general election occurs.

If you do not register to vote by the deadline, which is twenty-two days before an election, you can show up in person at your polling place for the precinct where you reside, complete a registration application, and vote a provisional ballot. After the election, the registrar will review your application, and the electoral board will review your provisional ballot.

Can I vote in the city where I go to college?

You may vote there if that is where you claim your residency; however, in claiming residency there, you may be required to pay taxes and other fees there. If you maintain your residency with your parents in another city, you must vote in that city. If you are unable to return home on the day of the election, you may obtain an absentee ballot by completing an application form online well in advance of the election. You may also complete an application and mail, email, or fax it to your local registrar.

So You’re 18 is presented by the Virginia State Bar Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations.
For print copies of So You're 18 contact (804) 775-0521 or [email protected].