Who Can Register And Vote
To register and vote, you must be 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States of America and a legal resident of Florida and of the county where you intend to vote. A person who is otherwise qualified may pre-register on or after that person's 16th birthday and may vote in any election held on or after that person's 18th birthday.
(see section 97.041, Florida Statutes)
Persons Not Entitled To Register Or Vote
Persons who have been found by a court in this or another state to be mentally incapacitated with respect to voting and who have not had their right to vote restored.
- Persons who have been convicted of any felony in any court and who have not had their right to vote restored.
- Any person who is not a citizen of the United States of America.
- A person who is not registered to vote may not vote.
(see section 97.041, Florida Statutes)
How To Register
To register to vote, you must fill out a voter registration application.
Voter registration applications are available at your local supervisor of elections' office, the Division of Elections, driver's license offices, state agencies that provide public assistance, state agencies that serve persons with disabilities, public libraries and many other public locations.
You will be offered the opportunity to apply to register to vote or change your voter registration when you obtain your driver's license, when you apply for public assistance at state agencies, or when you apply for services at state agencies that serve persons with disabilities.
A voter registration application is complete if it contains:
- Your name.
- Your legal residence address.
- Your date of birth.
- Your valid Florida driver's license number or Florida identification card number. If you do not have either of these, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you have not been issued a Florida driver's license, a Florida identification card, or a Social Security number, you must indicate "none" in the box provided for this information.
- A mark in the check box affirming that you are a citizen of the United States of America.
- A mark in the check box affirming that you have not been convicted of a felony or that, if convicted, you have had your civil rights restored.
- A mark in the check box affirming that you have not been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting or that, if so adjudicated, you have had your right to vote restored.
- You must sign the oath printed on the form swearing or affirming under the penalty for false swearing that the information contained in the registration application is true. (Power of attorney is not accepted)
Note: An applicant who fails to designate a political party affiliation will be registered without party affiliation.
(see section 97.053, Florida Statutes)
When Can You Register
You can apply to register to vote at any time either by mail or in person. However, the registration books will be closed on the 29th day before each election and will remain closed until after that election. You must be registered for at least 29 days before you can vote in an election. The date your voter registration application is postmarked or hand delivered to your county supervisor of elections, the Division of Elections, a driver's license office, a voter registration agency, or an armed forces recruitment office will be your registration date. If your application is complete and you are qualified as a voter, a registration information card will be mailed to you.
When the registration books are closed for an election, voter registration and party changes will be accepted, but only for the purpose of subsequent elections.
(see sections 97.053 and 97.055, Florida Statutes)
First-Time Voters Who Register By Mail
If you register by mail and you are a first-time voter in the State and you have not been issued a Florida driver's license number, Florida I.D. number, or a Social Security number you are required to provide additional identification. To assure that you will not have problems when you go to vote, you should provide a copy of the required identification at the time you mail your voter registration form. If you are voting an absentee ballot, you must provide the proper identification prior to 7 p.m. election day or your absentee ballot will not count. The following forms of identification are acceptable if they contain your name and photograph:
- United States passport
- Employee badge of identification
- Buyer’s club identification
- Debit of credit card
- Military identification
- Student identification
- Retirement center identification
- Neighborhood association identification
- Public assistance Identification
Instead of the photo ID, you may provide a copy of a current and valid utility bill, bank statement, government paycheck, or other government document containing your name and current residence address. Do not send original identification documents to the supervisor of elections.
The following persons are not required to provide the identification required under the previous paragraph:
- Persons 65 years of age or older.
- Persons with a temporary or permanent physical disability.
- Members of the uniformed services on active duty and their spouses and dependants, who, by reason of such active duty, are absent from the county on election day.
- Members of the Merchant Marine and their spouses and dependents, who, by reason of service in the Merchant Marine, are absent from the county on election day.
(see section 97.0535, Florida Statutes)
Removal And Reinstatement Of Names On Voter Rolls
Periodically, supervisors of elections will send address confirmation notices to voters when the post office has indicated that these voters have moved outside the supervisor's county or left a forwarding address. All voters who have been mailed an address confirmation notice and who do not return the form within 30 days will be placed on the inactive voter registration list. Voters on the inactive list can be reinstated by updating their voter registration, appearing to vote, or requesting an absentee ballot, providing their status has not changed. However, after two general elections from the date the notice was sent, all inactive voters who show no activity will be removed from the registration records and must register again in order to vote.
(see section 98.065, Florida Statutes)
Registration Is A Public Record
In Florida, voter registration records are open to the public and may be examined or copied by any person. However, the following registration information is confidential: location of voter's place of registration, location of place of registration update, Social Security number, driver's license number, and Florida identification number. A voter's signature may be viewed but may not be copied.
(see section 97.0585, Florida Statutes)