Who Can Register to Vote?

To register to vote in Massachusetts, you must be a Massachusetts resident and U.S. citizen who will be at least 18 years old on the day of the next election in which you are eligible to vote; you cannot be under legal guardianship with respect to voting; in prison for a felony; or convicted of election fraud (even if the prison term is completed).

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.

What are “proof of residency” and “legal residency”?

Proof of residency must include your name and address and is a copy of any of the following:

  • current and valid drivers license
  • current and valid photo id
  • government check or document
  • current utility bill
  • pay check or stub

By signing an affidavit of registration, you declare that the address on your affidavit is your legal residence. A college dormitory, apartment, room, etc. can be your legal residence if you intend to make the place “home” for the time being. It is illegal for a community to set different registration standards for students. You may declare yourself a Massachusetts resident and still receive financial support from your parents, have bank accounts, register a car, or file state tax returns from your out-of-state home.

Your Massachusetts registration and declaration of residency may have implications, however, for your tuition, insurance, and taxes, and any scholarships and loans you might have from your home state. Be sure to check these before registering.

How do I prove that I am a Massachusetts resident?

You must put your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number on the voter registration form. In case these numbers cannot be verified, you will have to present suitable identification at the polls. You will receive a voter acknowledgment two to three weeks after you register which will indicate whether you are required to show identification at the polls. Sufficient identification, which must show your name and address, includes a copy of a current and valid photo identification, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document.

How do I change my party affiliation?

You declare a political party or affiliation when you register or you can register as unenrolled. Town and city clerks’ offices also have Change of Party Affiliation Form. These forms are also available at your polling place.

Will I ever need to re-register?

You must re-register 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 with a provisional ballot.