2018 Overseas Voter Registration Q & A

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We’ve compiled some FAQs about overseas voting below. Full details are available at www.fvap.gov.

* How do I register to vote?
Go to www.fvap.gov, select the state where you last resided, and complete the Federal Post Card Application. Print, sign, and return by email.

* What state do I use if I live overseas?
As an overseas voter, you vote based on your last place of residence in the U.S. If you have no intent to return there, some states will not allow you to vote for local offices. You will be able to vote for Federal offices (i.e., President, Congress).

* How do I request an absentee ballot?
When you complete the Federal Post Card Application at www.fvap.gov, you register to vote and request a ballot in one step. All states and territories use this form, and it is important to follow the instructions carefully.

* I want to vote in the primary election - do I need to register with a party?
Your state may require you to register with a party to vote in a primary election. Click on “Absentee Voting Guidelines” on your state’s page when you are completing Section 5 of the Federal Post Card Application.

* When do I need to register if I want to vote in November?
States have different deadlines for voter registration, so it is best to register early to make sure you have sufficient time to receive and return your ballot. Check your state’s requirements on www.fvap.gov for more details.

* I registered in 2016. Do I need to register again?
Yes! States have different ways to manage overseas voter registration and requests, so it is best to complete the Federal Post Card Application every year to make sure you are eligible to vote and receive the correct materials.

* What if I don’t receive my ballot?
If you have registered to vote but have not received your ballot 30 days before the election, you may want to complete a Federal Write-In Ballot as a back-up ballot. All states and territories accept this ballot - note it is only for Federal offices.

* My adult kids are U.S. citizens but have never lived in the U.S. Can they vote?
The state of the parent(s) last residence determines the state rules for their “never resided” citizen children. Many states allow “never resided” citizens to vote in Federal elections, but some states do not. Check your state’s requirements on www.fvap.gov.

* How can I send in my completed postcard from FVAP?
The easiest way to send in your Federal Post Card Application is by email. Click on “Local Election Offices” within your state’s page for the email address and other contact information. You must return the postcard to your local officials - not FVAP.

* Can I fill in the Federal Post Card Application if I don’t know my Social Security Number? Can I use a passport number of a driver’s license number?
You must have a valid social security number to fill out the Federal Post Card Application. If you don’t have one or have lost your social security card and don’t know your number, you can contact the US Embassy’s regional Federal Benefits Unit in Oslo directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via their website: https://no.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/
If the applicant is required to apply in person, then the applicant needs to make a notary appointment with US Citizen’s Services at the US Embassy in Stockholm, and bring all the necessary documents so that certified copies can be made. Processing times vary based on where the applicant was born and whether they have been issued a social security number previously.

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