Register to Vote

For additional information on voter registration, visit the
Massachusetts secretary of state’s
 website

You may submit an application to register to vote in Massachusetts if:

  • You are a citizen of the United States and a resident of Massachusetts; and
  • You are 18 years old or older; and
  • You are not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.

If you meet the above requirements, you may apply online, by mail, or in-person. Check below for more information about how to register to vote.

The deadline to register to vote in any election or town meeting is ten (10) days prior to the date of the election or meeting.

A Massachusetts resident who becomes a citizen of the United States after the voter registration deadline has passed may register to vote at their town or city hall until 4:00 p.m. on the day preceding the primary or general election with proof that their naturalization ceremony took place after the voter registration deadline.

Though you must be at least 18 years old to vote, you may pre-register to vote once you are 16 years old.

As of January 1, 2023, you will be automatically pre-registered to vote when you apply for a learner’s permit, driver’s license, or ID at the RMV. If you wish to decline voter registration, you may do so after you receive an acknowledgement by mail from your local election official.

If you are 16 or 17 years old and you are not applying for a learner’s permit, you may apply online, by mail, or in person by submitting a voter registration form to your local election official, who will place your name on the list of pre-registrants. You will receive a pre-registration notice by mail, confirming receipt of your application.

Once you become old enough to vote, your local election official will mail you an acknowledgment notice, which is confirmation that your name has been moved from the list of pre-registrants to the list of registered voters. Your acknowledgment notice will include your party affiliation and the location of your polling place.

Registration Deadline
The deadline to register to vote in Massachusetts is:

  • 10 days before all primaries, elections, and regular or special town meetings

If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, you can check your registration status online here.

Online Voter Registration
Go to the Secretary of State’s online voter registration site.  You will need to have a Massachusetts driver’s license or state identification card issued by the Registry of  Motor Vehicles to use this online registration site.  If you don’t have an RMV-issued ID or driver’s license, you can still use this site to fill out the voter registration form, then print it, sign it and bring or mail it to your local election office or town clerk. You can also use this online site to change your name or address on your voter registration, or to change your political party enrollment.

Automatic Voter Registration
As of January 1, 2023, you will be automatically registered, so long as you are at least 18 years old,  when you apply for a driver’s license, or ID at the RMV. If you wish to decline voter registration, you may do so after you receive an acknowledgement by mail from your local election official.

Mail-in or In-person Voter Registration
Massachusetts citizens can download a Massachusetts voter registration form, fill it out, print it and sign it, then mail it to your local election official’s office. Download in: English,  SpanishChinese and several other languages.

You can also pick up a registration form at your local election official’s office and at many Post Offices and libraries.  You can request a form be mailed to you by calling 617-727-2828 or 1-800-462-VOTE or e-mailing elections@sec.state.ma.us.

Mail the completed form to your local city or town hall. You should receive a confirmation notice in 2 to 3 weeks. If you do not receive a confirmation notice, or wish to confirm your voter registration status, contact your local election official to verify your voting status.

To register in person, go to any registration location and complete an affidavit of registration. Registration locations include your town clerk’s office, your city election official’s office, the Secretary of State’s Election Division and the Secretary of State’s regional offices.

It is important to keep your local election official informed of any changes to your information. You must submit a new voter registration form if you wish to change your name, address, mailing address, or political affiliation.

If you are in the military or live overseas, you do not have to register in order to vote by absentee ballot.  Detailed information on how to vote in these circumstances is available HERE.

If you need to keep your address confidential, Massachusetts law has established a program, Confidential Voter Registration, for individuals who wish to vote, but do not want their names and addresses to appear on voter lists. These protections enable survivors of domestic violence, stalking and abuse to register and vote while keeping certain information confidential.

In Massachusetts, voting lists are public information. Registered individuals’ names and addresses appear on voting rolls. If you are a confidential voter, your name and address do not appear on voting rolls and cannot be disclosed to any person.

Confidential voters are assigned a number, which appears on a certificate mailed to them. This same number will also appear in place of a name and address on the voter list. On Election Day, confidential voters present the mailed certificate, with their confidential voter number, to be matched with the number appearing on the voter list. No further identification is required.

Confidential voters may also vote absentee, if legally eligible to do so. This is done by using the confidential voter number in lieu of a name and address on the absentee ballot. Absentee confidential voters fill out the ballot and mail it, along with the certificate bearing their confidential voter number, to the registrar’s office.

To qualify as a confidential voter, you must provide one of the following to your local election office: a certified copy of a court order granting protection; a letter affirming your residence in a protective shelter, signed by the director of that shelter; or, an affidavit from the chief of police stating that you are entitled to confidential voter status.

If you have further questions about Confidential Voter Registration, call the Elections Division at 617-727-2828 or 1-800-462-VOTE.

If your family lives in another state and you attend college in Massachusetts, you may register in either state depending on which address you consider your residence for voting purposes.

If you attend college in another state but you are registered to vote in Massachusetts, you can request a mail ballot online HERE That application form offers the option of mailing a ballot to a different address (re: to your address at college).  Check the deadlines for requesting a mail ballot before an election and be sure to allow enough time for the ballot to reach you and be returned to your city or town by Election Day.

Please note that you may not vote in more than one place.

Students attending college in Massachusetts may register to vote in the city or town where they attend college and may use a dormitory address as their address. Follow the instructions above for obtaining a voter registration form. Scholarship students should check for any residency requirements in the terms of the scholarship before registering to vote in your college community.

Federal law requires that any person registering to vote by mail for the first time, or for the first time in a new state, must provide identification. Mail-in registration forms ask for either a Massachusetts driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number, and registrants are encouraged to enclose a copy of their identification with the form. First-time voters in Massachusetts should also bring some type of identification to their polling place when they go to vote. This does not need to be a photo identification card. Acceptable forms of identification include: a Massachusetts driver’s license or state ID card; a utility bill; a government-issued check; a paycheck or paystub; or any other official document bearing the voter’s name and address.

Please note that passports, birth certificates, naturalization papers, and student IDs without addresses are not acceptable forms of identification because they do not include your address.  Many students get letters from their schools listing their student address as a valid form of identification.

You must re-register to vote if you move to a new city or town. If you have moved within the same city or town, notify your local election office of your new address in writing. You must re-register before the voter registration deadline for the election.

If you do not re-register, your name will not be on the correct voting list in the correct precinct in your city or town. It is important to keep your address current with your local election office. If your name is not on the voting list when you go to vote, you will have to vote on a provisional ballot.

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