Voting & Registration FAQs

The Register of Electors is a list of all registered and eligible voters in any given constituency or electoral area. In order to vote in an election or referendum, a person's name must be entered on the Register of Electors for the locality in which the person ordinarily resides. Registration authorities (county, city, and city and county councils) publish the Register of Electors every year.

The Register of Electors comes into force on the 15th of February each year and remains in force until 14th February the following year. The Register is used at each election and referendum held in the following 12 months.

The Register of Electors can be viewed online. If a person is not included in the Register of Electors currently in force, they may apply for entry onto the "Supplement to the Register" by completing an RFA2 or RFA3 form, whichever is applicable.

However, you can only be included in the supplement used at an election or referendum if your local authority receives your application at least 15 days before polling day, May 24th 2019. Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose.

You can check online at the Check the Register website. Choose your province and local authority to begin.

Alternatively, anyone can inspect the Register in all local authority offices, post offices, Garda stations and public libraries.

In order to vote in an election or referendum in Ireland, you must be registered to vote. Being registered means that your name has been entered onto one of the following lists:

  • The main Register of Electors (as described above)
  • The Postal Voters List
  • The Special Voters List
  • A supplement to one of these 3 lists

You can apply at any time to be registered to vote. However, when an election or referendum has been announced, there is a cut-off date after which you cannot be registered in time to vote.

The type of election you can vote in depends on your citizenship. In Ireland, it breaks down as follows:

  • Resident Irish citizens can vote in every election and referendum
  • British citizens resident in Ireland may vote at Dáil, European and local elections
  • Other EU citizens resident in Ireland may vote at European and local elections
  • Non-EU citizens resident in Ireland can vote at local elections only

No. At present, if you are an Irish citizen living abroad, you cannot be added to the Register of Electors. The only exception to this is in the case of Irish officials on duty abroad (and their spouses or civil partners) who may register on the Postal Voters List.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have prepared an Options Paper to inform public debate around a proposed change to this rule. It proposes that Irish citizens resident outside the state should have the right to vote in presidential elections. This referendum was originally expected to take place in May 2019, on the same day as the local and European elections. It is now expected to take place in October 2019.

If you are entered onto the Register of Electors at an incorrect or previous address, you must apply to change your address to that of your current residence. Not to do so means you would be voting in a different constituency or area than that in which you normally live.

To change your address on the Register of Electors (supplement), you must complete an RFA3 form and return it to your local authority before the cut off date for that supplement.

You will normally be required to vote in person at an official voting centre but you may be eligible for a postal vote if you are:

  • An Irish diplomat posted abroad, or their spouse/civil partner who is abroad with them
  • A member of the Garda Síochána
  • 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 a physical illness or disability
  • You are studying full time at an educational institution in Ireland, which is away from your home address where you are registered
  • You are unable to 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

Applications for inclusion on the Postal Voters List must be received by 25 November at the latest. If you are registered as a postal voter, you may vote by post only. You may not vote at a polling station.

If you are eligible for the Postal Voters List but are not included in time, you can apply for inclusion in the relevant supplement to the list. The latest date for receipt of applications is 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day for local and EU elections or referenda. Relevant forms (PVS1) are available on the Check the Register website.

The Supplement to the Register of Electors is not published online or included in the Check the Register system. You should contact the Register of Electors section (0761 102020) if you want to confirm that your details are correct.

If everything is in order, you will receive a polling card and can vote. Your details will then be added to the main Register of Electors when it is recompiled between the 1st and 25th of November every year. The updated register then comes into effect on 15th February for that year.

The website of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government contains information for voters with disabilities.

The polling card is not mandatory for voting. However, even if you have received a polling card, you will need to bring one of the following documents as proof of identification:

  • Passport
  • A current Driving Licence
  • An Employee identity card containing a photograph
  • A student identity card issued by an educational institution and containing a photograph
  • A Travel document containing name and photograph
  • A Bank or Savings or Credit Union book containing address
  • A temporary Residence Certificate card
  • A cheque card*
  • A credit card*
  • A birth certificate*
  • A marriage certificate*

*The last 4 items must be accompanied by a further document which established the address of the holder in the constituency or local electoral area.