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How to change voter registration when you're moving out of state

September 19th, 2016 - 2:20 PM

Am I registered to vote after a move?

If you’re moving to a new home in a new state, there’s probably a lot on your plate. And while updating your voter registration information might not be a top priority, it’s important. In order to vote in your new state, you’ll need to make a voter registration change to reflect your new address. Learn about voter eligibility requirements and how to switch registration information to a different location.

laptop showing changing voter registration online

Voter eligibility requirements 

  • You are eligible to vote in the U.S. if you: 
  • Are a U.S. citizen (either by birth or naturalization)
  • Meet each of your new state’s residency requirements
  • Are at least 18 years of age (some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they turn 18 on or before the general election. Learn more about state-specific age requirements)
  • Haven’t been convicted of a felony

Voting laws and requirements vary by state. Check out the voter registration rules for your new state to make sure you meet the criteria. 

How to transfer my voter registration from one state to another

There are three options for moving voter registration information to a new state: by mail, in person or online. If you aren’t already registered somewhere else, you can do one of these to become eligible to vote for the first time.

Here’s how each method works:

Registering to vote by mail

If you’re already registered to vote, you can download the National Mail Voter Registration Form online. Since your voting information is tied to your permanent address, this form can be used to change or update addresses and do other things, like change political affiliation. After filling out the one-page application, follow the instructions, and mail it to the designated location in your state. Be sure to sign your name on the form where indicated, and apply the proper amount of postage. 

Visit vote.gov to see your state’s registration rules. 

Registering to vote in person

Registering in person is an easy process! Just go to the local state or county election office and register. This service is also available at many other public facilities, like a Department of Motor Vehicles office, an Armed Services recruitment center, a public library, a city or county clerk’s office, or anywhere else that offers voter registration.

Registering to vote online

Registering online may be the most convenient option. Log on to vote.org, enter your information and then submit it when finished. The process is simple, but there may be restrictions with online submissions in some states. See which states allow online registration here

Know the deadline to register

Each state has a different registration deadline date. And while some states allow you to register at polling precincts on the day of the election, it’s best to do it beforehand to avoid lines or other issues. Get registration deadlines and other details here

Voter registration FAQs

Find other information about changing your voter registration information below.

Why doesn’t my voter registration information automatically transfer when I move? Each state has its own set of guidelines, so your data can’t be transferred automatically from state to state. 

Where do I mail the National Mail Voter Registration Form? Mail the one-page application to the mailing address your state provides. The address should be under the “State Instructions” portion of the application, but call your county or state election officials to confirm. 

What do I do if my registration form is rejected? To avoid complications before you submit, be sure to correctly fill in all information, and don’t leave anything blank unless told otherwise. If you believe that your form was rejected unfairly, contact the Department of Justice at (800) 253-3931 or your state’s Attorney General’s office.

Can I still vote in my old state if I’m only moving temporarily? If you aren’t planning to establish a permanent address in the state in which you’re moving, you can request an absentee ballot to ensure you’ll still have the chance to vote in an election. But if you’ve permanently moved, you should vote in the new local precinct. 

What if I’m staying in state, but moving to a different county? You’ll still be eligible to vote in your state’s elections, but you’ll need to inform your new county of your new address and update your information with them. Either before or after immediately after your move, contact your county clerk’s office for instructions on how to change your information with them. 

How do I update my info if I’m moving to a U.S. territory? The National Mail Voter Registration Form isn’t available for residents in U.S. territories. So if you live in or are moving to one of those areas, here’s what to do: 

Have other questions? 

Still have a question that we didn’t answer? Leave us a comment below. If you’re still packing, review our comprehensive moving checklist to help guide you through the moving process.