Texas Student Voting Guide

Registration Deadline

Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before Election Day

Voter registration forms, polling place locations, and more information can be found at www.votetexas.gov

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

Texas’ voter registration form asks for your Texas driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Failure to provide this information could lead to you having to show additional identification when you vote that shows your picture or your name and address. Make sure to provide this information on the registration form so the state can verify your identity and you don’t run into problems when you cast your ballot.

Register at School or Home?

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

School address:

  • Students attending college in Texas may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently.

Permanent address:

  • Students may choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in Texas or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

All voters will be asked for ID when voting in person.  There are seven forms of approved photo ID:

  • Texas driver license, personal ID, handgun license, or Election ID Certificate from DPS
  • US military ID containing the person’s photograph
  • US citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

Except for the US citizenship certificate, these photo IDs can not be expired for more than four years. Voters without one of these forms of photo ID may sign a reasonable impediment declaration and present a supporting form of ID and cast a regular ballot.  Supporting forms of ID are:

  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
  • Copy of or original current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your polling location and hours at:  http://votetexas.gov/voting/where.

How Can I Vote?

Vote Early by Mail (Formerly Absentee Voting):
In Texas, voters may only vote by mail if they will be away from their county on Election Day and during the in-person early voting period; are sick or disabled; are at least 65 years old on Election Day; or are confined in jail not serving a sentence for a felony. You may request an early ballot from the county elections office by mailing the official state form or the Federal Post Card Application.
Vote early in person:
Voters in Texas may vote early in person starting the 17th day before Election Day, October 24, 2016. The early voting period ends the 4th day before Election Day, November 4, 2016.
On Election Day at the polls
The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Will voting in Texas affect my federal financial aid?

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). 

Does being an out-of-state student for tuition purposes affect my right to vote in my college community?

No. You may choose to vote in your college community or back home regardless of your tuition status.

Will I lose my scholarship if I register to vote in Texas?

Generally, no. If you receive scholarship money from a state, county, town, or a private entity (i.e., an entity other than the federal government) you should confirm that residency in a particular place is not a requirement of the scholarship and/or that voter registration in Texas will not affect your eligibility. 

Will registering to vote in Texas affect my driver’s license or car registration?

No. Texas does not require newly registered voters to obtain a Texas driver’s license or register their vehicles there.

Will registering to vote in Texas prevent my parents from claiming me as a dependent on their taxes?

No. Students are often told that registering to vote in a different state from their parents will make them lose their dependency status. This is not true. Where you register to vote will have no effect on your parent’s tax status. 
This Guide was prepared by FELN staff who are not licensed to practice law in Texas and FELN intends that the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Texas legal professional.

Last updated September 2016