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FAQs on Registration

Basics

Maintaining voter registration information


Online Voter Registration Service

Basics

Do I have to register to vote?

Yes. Here's how to register.


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Am I registered to vote?

Most Canadians who are eligible to vote are already registered in the National Register of Electors. If you are registered and you checked off both Elections Canada boxes on your tax return this year, your registration will be updated with your current home address.

To check if you're registered at your current address, use the Online Voter Registration Service.

If you can't check online, you can call us.

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How do I register to vote?

  • Register online
    • By providing the number on your driver's licence (from any province or territory except Quebec), or provincial or territorial ID card (from Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan or Yukon).
      Or
    • By using the Online Voter Registration Service to upload the accepted identification document(s).
  • Register by mail (outside a general election or by-election) — Contact us to request a registration form. We'll send the form by mail, e-mail or fax. Complete the form, sign it and return it by mail, along with a copy of your proof of identity and address.

After an election is called, you can also register at your local Elections Canada office or at your polling place when you go to vote.

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How do I update my voter information?

To update your address, use the Online Voter Registration Service.

To change your name or make other kinds of registration updates, please contact us to request an Update form. We'll send the form by mail, e-mail or fax. Complete the form, sign it and return it by mail, along with a copy of your proof of identity and address.

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I have legally changed my name. How do I update my registration?

Use the Online Voter Registration Service to check if you're registered under your new name or previous name.

To change your name, please contact us to request an Update form. We'll send the form by mail, e-mail or fax. Complete the form, sign it and return it by mail, along with a copy of your proof of identity and address.

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I recently moved. Am I still registered to vote?

If you were registered before you moved, you are likely still registered. However, you may need to update your address.

Check online to see if you are registered at your current address or update your address.

We may have received your new address from another source, like the Canada Revenue Agency, your driver's licence agency or your provincial or territorial elections agency. We use several sources to update registrations.

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If I register by mail, what types of ID are accepted?

If you register by mail, you must include a photocopy of your proof of identity and address. We accept:

  • a copy of a piece of identification issued by a Canadian (federal, provincial or local) government showing your name, photo and current address (e.g. driver's licence or provincial/territorial ID card), or
  • copies of two identification documents:
    • both documents must show your name and one must also have your current address (e.g. telephone bill and health card).

If some of the information appears on the back of the document(s), you must photocopy both sides.

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If I register online, what types of ID are accepted?

If you register online, you can:

  • use the number on your driver's licence (from any province or territory except Quebec), or your provincial or territorial ID card (from Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan or Yukon); or
  • upload your identification documents (consult the list of accepted identification documents to find out which documents can be included with your application).

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Maintaining voter registration information

How does Elections Canada keep voter registrations accurate and up to date?

We keep voter registrations in a database called the National Register of Electors (the Register), which we update regularly using information from several data sources. The Register has a high level of coverage and currency. As of September 2019, 96.4% of qualified electors appear on the Register (coverage) and 93.2% of registered electors were listed at their current address (currency).

People who register or update their registration must affirm that the information they provide is current and correct.

As a final check before electors can cast their ballots, they must prove their identity and address. The information on the elector's proof of identity and address must match the information on the voters list. If there is an omission or error on the voters list, the elector can request a correction.

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What is the National Register of Electors?

The National Register of Electors (the Register) is the permanent database of Canadians aged 18 and older who are qualified to vote in federal elections and referendums. Created in 1997, the Register is continually updated using federal, provincial and territorial administrative and electoral data sources.

Elections Canada uses information from the Register to produce lists of electors (commonly called the “voters list”) that contain the names of all Canadians registered to vote in a given geographical area. When you vote at the polls, these are the lists you see election workers using.  

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Can I opt out of the National Register of Electors and keep my right to vote?

Yes. Learn more about opting out of the National Register of Electors.

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What is a list of electors (voters list)?

A list of electors (commonly called the “voters list”) shows all of the people who are registered to vote in a particular polling division (area within a riding). Lists are based on information in the National Register of Electors, the database of Canadians aged 18 and older who are qualified to vote in federal elections and referendums.

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Do you share voter information with other agencies or groups?

Yes. Elections Canada shares voter information from the National Register of Electors with all provincial and territorial electoral agencies and with some municipalities for election purposes only. Sharing voter registration information improves the accuracy of voters lists, making it easier to vote. It also reduces duplication, saving taxpayer money.

As required by the Canada Elections Act, we also provide voters lists (containing name, address and unique identifier number) to candidates, members of Parliament and registered and eligible political parties, who may use the information for specific, authorized purposes. Refer to the Guidelines for Use of the Lists of Electors to learn more.

Note that we do not share voter information with any other organizations, including social media platforms and media.

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If I update my voter registration with Elections Canada, will the update be sent to my provincial, territorial or municipal elections agency?

Elections Canada shares voter information – containing name, address and unique identifier number – with all provincial and territorial electoral agencies and with some municipalities for election purposes only. Note there can be a delay of several weeks or months before the voter information is sent and gets reflected in the respective provincial, territorial and municipal voters lists.

If your province or territory is having an election (or is about to have one), please contact your provincial or territorial electoral agency directly to register or update your registration. Likewise, if there is an upcoming election in your municipality, please contact your municipality directly.

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Should I report the death of a loved one?

Family members of a deceased person and executors do not have to notify Elections Canada about the death of a loved one, unless it occurred outside of Canada. In that case, please contact Elections Canada.

Elections Canada receives notices of death from most provincial and territorial vital statistics agencies, the Canada Revenue Agency, and provincial and territorial agencies with permanent lists of electors. This information is used to remove the names of the deceased from federal lists of electors.

As an alternative, once a federal election is called, you may contact the Elections Canada office in your electoral district.

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Online Voter Registration Service

I updated my address online with Elections Canada. Will you give my new address to my driver's licence agency?

No. You must contact your driver's licence agency directly to update your address with them. Elections Canada does not provide any information to driver's licence agencies.

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If I use the Online Voter Registration Service on a public computer, should I take extra steps to protect my privacy?

Yes. If you use the service in a public place like a library, take these steps:

  • delete any outstanding print jobs
  • do not save any filled PDF forms
  • clear the Web browser cache and close the Web browser (see instructions below)

Your Web browser is the computer program that lets you see Web pages. Some popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Browsers have a "cache", a temporary storage area that tracks information on the Web pages you visit. To maintain your privacy on a public computer, clear the browser's cache after each session.

How to clear your Web browser cache – instructions for different browsers

  • In Firefox, go to Tools > Clear Recent History.
  • In Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Delete Browsing History.
  • In Chrome, click on the wrench icon in the top right-hand corner. Go to Bonnet > Clear Browsing Data.
  • In Safari, go to Safari > Empty Cache > Empty.

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You offer online voter registration. Does this mean I can vote online?

No. We do not offer online voting.

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I'm having trouble using the Online Voter Registration Service. What should I do?

If the online service is not working for you, below are the possible reasons why and some solutions.

  • You moved recently

If you are registered but have moved recently, the online service may not recognize your new address. The results screen will show this message: "Double-check your address"

Follow these steps to update your address:

  • Click on "go back to the Enter information screen" and enter your old address. If the service finds you, it will say you are registered and give you this message:

    "Need to update your address?"
  • Click on "Update your home or mailing address here" to enter your new address.
  • You need to re-enter your address
  • It's possible that you made a typing mistake or entered information in the wrong field (for example, unit instead of suffix). The results screen will show this message:

    "Double-check your address"

    You can click on "go back to the Enter information screen" to review and resubmit your information.

    • You changed your name

    If you have changed your name (for example, after getting married or divorced) the online service may not recognize this new name. Of note, you can't update your name online. Here's how to update your name on your voter registration.

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    I submitted my address correction or registration request online. Will you send further confirmation that my request has been accepted?

    We will not send further confirmation, but if you'd like to check if your update has been accepted, you can revisit the Online Voter Registration Service at a later date and check if you are registered at the correct address.

    If you registered by uploading your identification documents, you can check the status of your request online. You will need the registration request reference number you were given when you submitted your request. If you provided your email address, you will also receive an email with your registration request reference number.

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    What if I don't have a driver's licence or provincial/territorial ID card?

    If you are confirming your registration, you do not require a driver's licence or provincial/territorial ID card. If you wish to register to vote and you do not have one of these cards, there are additional ways to register.

    You can use the Online Voter Registration Service to register and upload your proof of identity and address. Consult the list of accepted identification to find out which documents can be included with your application.

    If there's a federal election or by-election underway in your electoral district, you can register by contacting your local Elections Canada office. If you must go in person, remember to bring accepted proof of identity and address with you. You can find your local office through the Online Voter Information Service. If you need assistance, call us.

    Learn more about voter registration

    The National Register of Electors

    Revision, the process of updating voter registrations during election periods

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