Answers to questions regarding voter registration, voter cards, precinct changes, updating your registration, and changing your address, are listed below. (Click on the question to view its answer below.)
Forms mailed to voters:
How do I register to vote in Virginia?
Registering to vote in Virginia is easy and convenient. To register to vote, you must provide certain personal information. You can register online,
or you can fill out and submit a Virginia Voter Registration Application
. If it is determined that you are eligible, the General Registrar’s office will add your information to the voter registration database. The paper Virginia Voter Registration Application must be submitted in original format the first time you register in Virgina. You can register in person at one of our offices or by mail. Once you are in the Virginia Election and Registration Information System you may submit changes in person, online, by mail, or fax. For more information call our office at 703-792-6470.
Who is eligible to register to vote?
You are eligible to register to vote if you satisfy all of the requirements below:
• A citizen of the United States
• At least 18 years of age by the next general election (the November election)
• A resident of Virginia
• Have had your voting rights restored if you have ever been convicted of a felony or been judged mentally incapacitated
Do I need to show an ID to register?
If you register to vote in person at our office and you sign the application in front of a registrar, you do not need to show an ID. Under a federal law, if you register in Virginia by mail (the first time) you need to include either (1) a copy of your current and valid photo identification, or (2) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address. Otherwise you may be required to show election officials either (1) or (2) above the first time you vote in a federal election.
PLEASE NOTE: Virginia law requires that those who register by mail, rather than in person, must vote in person the first time they vote in a federal election. Exempt from this requirement are military service members and dependents, overseas citizens, full-time students voting absentee because they are outside the County, and disabled persons.
When will I get my Voter Card?
Allow about four weeks to receive your new Voter Card. Remember that our books are closed for the 21 days before every election, so if you submit an application during that time it will take longer to get a card. Once your information has been added to our registration database, you are considered a registered voter in Prince William County. Even if you have not yet received a voter card you are able to vote using some other form of ID (see the Virginia ID Requirements
). You can check your registration status on-line
, or call our office 703-792-6470 to find your polling place.
How do I change my voter registration information?
To remain a qualified registered voter, the law requires you to notify your local voter registration office of any change in your name or address. This must be done before the registration books close for the next election (the 21-day period before any election).
You may submit the change online
, complete a new Virginia Voter Registration Application
(the same form is used for registering and changing your registration), complete the change of address form on the back of your Voter Card, or send a letter with your new information (only if you are currently a registered voter in Virginia
; check your registration status online
). If a Virginia registered voter wishes to submit a letter, the following information is required:
• Full legal name (if this is a change of name, include old and new names)
• New residence address
• Birth date or last four digits of your Social security number
• Previous registration address
• Your signature and the date
You may submit your notice of change of name or address either in person, by mail, or by fax. The notice must include your signature to be valid. Notice cannot be made by telephone or by e-mail. After your change is processed, you will be mailed a new Voter Card. If a new card does not arrive within four weeks, please call us at 703-792-6470 to confirm that your notice was received.
When do I register to vote?
A voter registration application may be submitted to your local General Registrar or the State Board of Elections at any time. However, an application received while books are closed (the 21 day period before each election) will be held at the General Registrar’s office and processed when registration reopens. The calendar of elections
has a summary of the elections scheduled for the year. Our Vote webpage
will have the dates that the books are closed and absentee voting begins as we approach each election.
Where do I apply to register to Vote?
For your convenience, you may register to vote online
. You may also register to vote in any Registrar's office in the Commonwealth of Virginia and that office will forward your application to the correct jurisdiction. You may also submit applications at other public service agencies and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The preferred method of registration is to us directly, either in person or by mail.
In person at our offices:
The Office of Elections is located at
9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1; Manassas, VA 20110-5554
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Voter Registration office co-located in the DMV building
2731 Caton Hill Road
Woodbridge, VA 22192
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays
By mail, pick up a Virginia Voter Registration Application at the following sites:
◦ Public libraries
◦ Department of Motor Vehicles offices
◦ Military recruitment offices
◦ Northern Virginia Community College campuses
◦ All government buildings including Town Halls
◦ Judicial Center information desk
I will turn 18 during the Books Closed period. Does that mean I can't vote?
Seventeen-year-olds may register to vote as long as they will be 18 before the next General Election, which will also allow them to vote in Primaries associated with the General Election (e.g., if your birthday is Nov. 1, you can register in April which allows you to vote in the June Primary and the Nov. Election). General Elections are normally the November Elections; however, Town Elections are also General Elections, so Town residents must turn 18 before the next Town Election (May of even-numbered years), or wait until after the Town Election to register, which still allows them to vote in June Primaries.
Why did you change my precinct/polling place?
In 2011 many precinct changes were made in PWC as a result of the 2010 Census. The increase in the County's population, and the shift of the population centers, required the addition of three new precincts and the adjustment in boundary lines to many more. New Voter Cards were mailed to all registered voters in the County informing them of their election districts and polling places.
Other than during the required redistricting after a national Census, precincts have to be changed occasionally to adjust for growth. When the number of registered voters in a precinct becomes so large that the polling place is overcrowded and lines are long on Election Day, a precinct is split. Sometimes a polling place becomes unavailable or unusable (accessibility, construction, or security issues) and a new one has to be found. New Voter Cards are mailed to all registered voters who are affected to notify them of the change. If you receive a new Voter Card from us, please open the envelope and read the card for new information.
How do I find out if I'm registered to vote in Virginia?
If you have questions about your voter registration status, call us at 703-792-6470. If you believe that you are registered to vote in Virginia, you can verify your voter registration status online
. When you choose the “Voter Registration” option, you must enter your information as it appears in the registration system or no record will be found. Choose 'Prince William County' as your locality. If your information is not available online but you believe you are registered, please call our office at 703-792-6470 for assistance. If in doubt, register online
or download the Virginia Voter Registration Application
, complete it, and send it to us.
What about Party affiliation? How do I register by party?
Virginia is an open primary state which means that any qualified voter can vote in either party's primary election. Citizens do not designate a political party affiliation when registering to vote in Virginia. Virginia election law stipulates that while any qualified voter may vote in either political party's primary election, a voter may vote in only one political party's primary on the same Election Day
. In other words, if both parties hold their primaries on the same day, when you go to the polls you will have to state in which primary
you would like to vote. This is not choosing a party, but only choosing a primary in which to vote for that election.
If I vote in a particular party's primary will my voter registration records become affiliated with that party?
No. Voting in any party's primary election in Virginia does not affiliate the voter with either of the political parties. The fact that you voted in the party's primary becomes part of your voting history, but does not affiliate you with that party nor does it hinder the voter's choices in future elections (primary or general).
How do I cancel my voter registration in Prince William County?
You must submit a written notice including your signature to the Office of Elections in order to cancel your registration. Some states include a cancellation notice with their Voter Registration Application (as Virginia does) so that when you complete an application in another state that cancellation form is forwarded to the appropriate office for action. This process is not always successful.
To cancel your Virginia voter registration:
• You can send us your Virginia Voter Card with an indication on the back that you want your registration canceled (or you can specify that you’ve moved out of state, for example) sign the card, date it, and mail it to us.
• Or, you may write a letter with the following information:
◦ Full legal name
◦ Birth date or last four digits of your Social Security Number
◦ Registration address
◦ Your signature and the date
◦ and the words “cancel my registration”
Why are you sending me registration forms in the mail?
The Office of Elections does not send out forms for registration unless a citizen requests one (or if there was a problem with an application that you submitted and we send another form for you to complete). If you receive a registration form it could be coming from a voter registration drive that is sending forms to a mailing list they obtained. The DMV might send you a copy of a partially completed voter registration application (see next question) after you have transacted some business there. If you are wondering about your registration status, please call our office at 703-792-6470, and we can check for you.
I changed my address at DMV. Why are you sending me a Voter Registration form?
If you’ve recently moved and changed your address at DMV, or you changed your address online with DMV, the DMV might be sending you a partially completed Voter Registration Form for you to sign and mail back. Changing your address on your driver’s license at DMV does not change your address for Voter Registration. You cannot change your voter registration online. Voter registration changes require your signature,
and DMV will give you (or mail you) a separate form to complete this transaction. This form will come with a self-addressed envelope for you to return the application to the State Board of Elections office in Richmond. If you live in Prince William County we would like you to send the application directly to our office
Why are you sending me a letter/card asking for my new address?
If the Office of Elections mails you a new voter card (if your precinct is changed for example) and that card is returned to us as undeliverable for some reason, we will send a letter to the forwarding address the Post Office provides requesting that you sign and return the form giving us your new address. Once you return that signed letter to us we can use it to change our records so that you will be registered at the correct address and eligible to vote in future elections. If you do not respond and do not re-register or vote within the year, you will receive another mailing from the State Board of Elections asking you to verify your correct address. If you do not respond in a timely manner your name could be removed from the voter rolls.
I received a Voter Card for someone who doesn’t live here. What should I do?
There could be many reasons why you received a Voter Card for another person. Other than a simple mistake in writing or entering an address, the Voter Card could be for a person who was registered at your address in the past. It could be for a voter whose registration was never updated or canceled, or it could be a military or overseas voter whose last U.S. address is in Virginia. Please write on the envelope, “Return to Sender,” and drop the envelope in the mail, so that we can start the procedure to find this person’s correct address or remove this person from the voter rolls, if necessary. If you are concerned or suspect fraud, please call our office at 703-792-6470.
I moved and didn’t change my voter registration. Will I still be able to vote?
If the books have not closed for the next election (see the calendar of elections
for this year) submit a change of address either in person, online, by mail, or by fax (see above
). If the books are closed and you are registered at a different address in Virginia,
please call our office at 703-792-6470 to learn if you are still eligible to vote in the upcoming election. The rules about eligibility after moving can be quite complicated and are determined on an individual basis for each election.
I was convicted of a felony. How do I register to vote?
Citizens who have been convicted of a felony can petition the Governor to have their voting rights restored. This process can take as long as six months to complete. Once your rights have been restored you can register to vote, providing the date that rights were restored in Block 4 of the registration form. Visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s page on Restoration of Rights
, or call the Office of the Restoration of Rights Director at 804-692-2531.
The Office of Elections is located at
9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1; Manassas, VA 20110-5554
Fax: 703-792-6461 or 703-792-4973
If you still have unanswered questions or comments on the information provided here, please send them to us
. You should receive a response within 24 business hours; however, if you don't hear from us in a timely manner (especially close to Election Day) please call the office.