If You Changed Your Name, You May Need to Re-Register to Vote

And deadlines to register are fast approaching.

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November 3 might be the most monumental election day in the history of the United States, so you’ll need to be ready to hit the polls in just a few weeks. Voting registration will soon be coming to a close, and if you just got married and legally changed your name, your registration may not be valid. Don’t sweat! We’ve got all the answers, so you can say “I voted” after you say “I do!”

I legally changed my name AND updated my driver’s license. Do I need to re-register?

If you’ve already updated your driver’s license to reflect your new name, take a look at the form you filled out. A lot of states include an option to update your voter registration with your new license/ID. In this case, you may not need to manually update your registration.

I legally changed my name BUT HAVEN’T updated my license. Should I re-register or update my voter registration?

Yes! If registration is still open in your state, fill out a form to update your name. Remember, these forms can take some time to be processed by your county’s election office so it’s better to do this ASAP!

I got married BUT HAVEN'T officially filed forms to change my name, do I need to update my voter registration?

In this scenario, you should be good to go. For now, vote under your maiden name and then make things ~offish~ post-election.

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You’ll also want to update your registration if you’ve moved within your state or want to change your political party affiliation. Voter registration deadlines are fast approaching, but if you’ve missed the deadline, all hope is not lost—some states allow you to register in person on Election Day! 

And if your state doesn’t allow in-person registration, check the rules your state enforces on having photo ID. Some states do not require photo ID at the polls. And if they do require one but you don’t have the updated ID, some "non-strict" states may just ask you to sign an affidavit of identity. “Strict” states require you to vote on a provisional ballot and then provide an acceptable ID to the election office within a few days. Every state is different, so it’s important to stay up to date on your state’s protocol.

Voter Registration Deadline Dates

  • Closed for online registration to Oct. 13: Kansas, Louisiana, Maine*, Maryland*, Minnesota*, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, Washington DC*, West Virginia
  • Oct. 14: Wisconsin*
  • Oct. 16: Nebraska
  • Oct. 18: Illinois*
  • Oct. 19: Alabama, California*, Michigan*, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wyoming
  • Oct. 21: New Hampshire*
  • Oct. 23: Nebraska, Utah
  • Oct. 24: Massachusetts, Iowa
  • Oct. 26: Colorado, Montana*, Washington*
  • Oct. 27: Connecticut*
  • Oct. 29: Nevada*
  • Oct. 31: New Mexico, North Carolina
  • Nov. 3: Vermont*

*allows in-person registration on Election Day

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