Registering to vote

Introduction

If you want to vote in an election or referendum in Ireland, you must be:

This page explains how to register to vote, and what to do if your situation has changed since the last election or referendum took place.

Changes to the registration system

You can now register to vote for the first time and update the register throughout the year. If you provide your PPS number, you do not need to have your identification and forms witnessed at a Garda station. Applications to register and to change the register can be made online at checktheregister.ie.

If you are already registered, you should check your details and add your PPS number, date of birth and your Eircode on checktheregister.ie. Everyone is being asked to do this to keep the register up to date.

Registration dates to vote in March 2024 referendums

Two constitutional referendums on family and care will be held on 8 March 2024.

If you are not registered to vote and you want to vote in these referendums, you must apply to your local authority by:

  • 12 February 2024 for Postal or Special Voting arrangements (see ‘Postal Voters and Special Voters lists’ below)
  • 20 February 2024 to register to vote or to change your details on the register

How to register to vote

Each local authority is legally obliged to maintain, update and publish its Register of Electors. The Register must be maintained and updated on an ongoing basis.

To be eligible for inclusion in the Register of Electors, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be ordinarily resident at an address in Ireland

If you have no address, you can register with ‘no fixed address.’ You can give an address where you can get correspondence.

If you have more than one address, you should give the address where you want to be registered. You can only be registered at one address.

You can register to vote:

If you do not give a PPS number, you must get your form and ID witnessed at a local Garda station.

Deadline for registering to vote

Your application must be received by the local authority at least 15 days before an election or referendum (excluding Sundays, Good Friday and public holidays). If it is received on or after 14 days before an election or referendum is taking place, you will not be registered to vote in that election or referendum.

Pending elector list

You can add your details to the ‘pending elector list’ if you are 16 or 17 and you are ordinarily resident in Ireland.

Anonymous electors

The Register of Electors can be inspected at local authority offices. If you are concerned that having your details available for inspection would put you in danger, you can apply to be an anonymous elector. You can get the form to make this request at checktheregister.ie.

The Register of Electors is a public document. Your PPS number and your date of birth will not be published.

Updating your details

You can now update your details at any time during the year. The easiest way to do this is on checktheregister.ie.

You must change your details at least 15 days before polling day. Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose.

If you are already registered, you should check your details and add your PPS number, date of birth and your Eircode on checktheregister.ie. This will allow the local authority to check your details are correct. Your PPS number and date of birth will not be published on the electoral register.

Third party requests

You can apply to update the register if you have reasonable grounds to believe an entry about another person is inaccurate. For example, you can apply to update the register if someone has died.

Local authority’s duty to maintain the register

The local authority can ask for documents to prove that you are eligible to vote as part of its duty to make sure that the register is up to date.

Postal Voters and Special Voters lists

Voting by post

Most voters have to vote in person at an official voting centre. However, you may be eligible for a postal vote if you are:

  • An Irish diplomat posted abroad, or their spouse or civil partner who is living abroad with them
  • A whole-time member of the Defence Forces

You may also be eligible for a postal vote if you cannot go to a polling station because:

  • You have an illness or disability
  • You are studying full time at an educational institution in Ireland, which is away from the home address where you are registered
  • You cannot vote at your local polling station because of your occupation, service or employment
  • You are unable to vote at your polling station because you are in prison as a result of an order of a court
  • You are a member of the Garda Síochána
  • You are registered as an anonymous elector, or you are part of the household of an anonymous elector

People who are eligible to vote by post are registered on the Postal Voters list. The latest date for receipt of applications is:

  • 2 days after the date of dissolution of the Dáil in the case of a general election
  • 2 days after the date of the order appointing polling day in the case of a Dáil bye-election
  • 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day for other elections or referendums

Application forms are available on checktheregister.ie and from your local authority.

If you are registered as a postal voter, you can only vote by post. You cannot vote at a polling station.

Special Voters List

You may qualify to be on a Special Voters List if you live in a hospital, nursing home or similar institution and wish to vote at these locations. If you are applying for the first time you must send a medical certificate with your application.

The latest date for receipt of applications is:

  • 2 days after the date of dissolution of the Dáil in the case of a general election
  • 2 days after the date polling day order is made in the case of a Dáil bye-election
  • 22 days (excluding Sundays, Good Friday and public holidays) before polling day for other elections or referendums

Application forms are available on checktheregister.ie and from your local authority, Garda station or post office.

You can read more about voting facilities for people with disabilities.

Register of Electors and direct marketing

Until recently, an edited version of the Register of Electors was available. This edited version could be used for direct marketing purposes.

Since October 2022, there is no longer an edited version of the Register of Electors.

It is an offence for an organisation to use the full electoral register for direct marketing purposes. Find out more about how to deal with unsolicited direct marketing material.

Student voters

If you are studying away from home while attending college, you can register at either your home address or your student residential address.

You must be registered at one address only.

If you live away from the address at which you are registered, you will need to update the register.

If you leave your address but you plan to return there within 18 months, you can continue to be registered there, as long you do not register at any other address.

Students can register to vote by post if they are currently registered, but unable to go to their polling station because they are studying away from home. To register to vote by post, complete form PV4 and send it to the local authority in the area where you want to vote. See 'Postal Voters and Special Voters lists' above for more information.

Overseas voters

If you are an Irish citizen living abroad, you cannot be added to the Register of Electors unless you are an Irish official on duty abroad (or their spouse or civil partner).

In its fifth report in 2013, the Convention on the Constitution recommended that Irish citizens resident outside the State should have the right to vote in presidential elections. This would require a referendum.

Useful contacts and links

You can apply directly, or download application forms on checktheregister.ie. Forms are also available from all local authorities, post offices and public libraries.

Return the completed form to your local authority.

You can get more information on voter registration from your local authority, or the Department of Housing, Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Franchise Section

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Custom House
Dublin 1
D01 W6X0
Ireland

Tel: (01) 888 2000
Locall: 1890 20 20 21
Page edited: 30 January 2024