What is Voter Registration?

Before you actually vote, you must register to vote. After registering for the first time, you may or may not need to register again. See details below.

How do I know if I’m registered?

Check online at the Iowa Secretary of State's office or call your county auditor.

How do I register to vote?            

  • In person by filling out a voter registration form at your county auditor’s office;
  • By mail by filling out a mail-in voter registration form and mailing it to your county auditor’s office. Get a mail-in voter registration form online, or from your county auditor office, libraries, colleges, and high schools, or by calling the Secretary of State’s office. Fill out the form and return it to your county auditor’s office by mail or in person.
  • When you apply for services at the Motor Vehicle Driver’s License Stations, state agencies that provide public assistance (such as Medicaid, WIC, and food stamps) or services to people with disabilities. You also may be able to register at many other state and federal offices and agencies;
  • On Election Day at your polling place; or
  • Online if you have a current Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID. Click here to register to vote through the Iowa Department of Transportation online.

What’s the registration deadline?

  • To pre-register by mail or at your county auditor’s office, the deadline for your registration to be received in order to vote is 10 days before general elections and 11 days before all other elections. Mailed forms should be post-marked 15 days before Election Day. You can also register to vote at the polls on Election Day.

What if I miss the deadline?

  • You can register at the polls on Election Day. Bring proof of your identity and residence. (See acceptable forms here.) 

What if I’ve changed my name or moved?

  • You have to submit a written notice to your county auditor every time you change your name.
  • You have to update your existing registration every time you move within the same county. You have to fill out a new registration form every time you move to a new county in Iowa or if you move from a different state to Iowa.
  • If you moved and didn’t re-register, you can still vote. Go to your new polling place on Election Day and register at the polls. Bring the documents you need to prove your identity and residence (or another voter to vouch for you). Click here for details.

If you have more questions, contact your county auditor's office or the Iowa Secretary of State website. 

Current as of June 2019 

Stay informed

ACLU of Iowa is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National