How to Register to Vote for the California Primary Set for March 3

Registering to vote in the Golden State is a little different this year.

The last day to register to vote before the California primary set for Super Tuesday this year is Feb. 18. Here's what you should know about registering to vote whether you are new to the state, or a first-time voter.

Important Dates to Remember

  • Feb. 18 is the last day to register to vote.
  • Feb. 25 is the last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot.
  • March 3 is Election Day, with votes accepted from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • March 6 is the last day the state will accept a vote-by-mail ballot postmarked no later than March 3.
  • If you are a new U.S. citizen sworn in after Feb. 17, 2020, you can register to vote from Feb. 18 to March 3.

Register Online

You can register to vote online. The deadline to register online is the end of the day Feb. 18. To register online to vote, you will need a driver's license or identification card, the last four digits of your social security, and your date of birth. Start your application here. If English is not your first language there are forms in other languages.

Register Through the Mail

You can also register through the mail by downloading the National Mail Voter Registration Form. This needs to be filled out by hand and mailed in. Remember to follow the specific California instructions on page 3 of the form. If you do chose to register to vote through the mail there is a chance you may have to show additional identification when you show up at the polls. The proof of identification can be a valid photo ID or a current utility bill or paycheck. For more information check out the National Voter Registration Act's FAQ page.

Register in Person

If you want to register to vote in person, you can go to your local DMV or armed services recruitment center and register to vote there. Click here to find your local office.

Absentee Voting

If you are a U.S. citizen who is currently living outside the U.S. or in the military, you can register to vote and request an absentee ballot through the Federal Voting Assistance Program. For more information on California's rules with absentee voting click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be registered to vote in more than one state?

No. You can only legally be registered to vote in one state. If you have homes in more than one state, you should be registered to vote in the state where your primary residence is located.

I just moved to California. I was a registered voter in my last state and just registered to vote in California. Do I need to contact the election office in my previous state or is it done automatically?

You need to contact the state board of elections in your previous state. The voter registration is not automatically cancelled.

I still live in California but I moved. Do I need to do anything?

You need to update your voter registration with your local election officer. If you moved within your existing county you must complete a new voter registration with your new updated address. If you moved counties, you must re-register with your new county.

For more frequently asked questions like how to change political parties visit U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Editor's note: Information in this article has been updated.

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