FAQ: Voter registration

Who can register?

In order to register, you must:

  • be a South African citizen;
  • be at least 16 years old (you can only vote from age 18); and
  • have a green, bar-coded ID book; ID smartcard; or valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC).

When to register

  • Q: Can I register at any time before the elections?
    A: No, 25 February, the day that the President proclaimed (publishes in the Government Gazette) the election date (7 May 2014), was the final day for registration applications.
  • Q: Can I still register?
    A: You can still make an appointment to register at your local IEC office, but you will not be able to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections. The voters' roll for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections closed on 25 February and no changes can be made under any circumstances.
  • Q: Can I register or re-register after the voters' roll closes?
    A: Yes, registration is on-going, but once the voters' roll for a specific election closes, you can't add or change your details for that election. If you didn't apply for registration on or before 25 February, you will not be able to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections. This is mandated by law and no exceptions can be made.

Where to register

  • Q: Where do I register if I missed the registration weekend?
    A: You can make an appointment to register at your local IEC office, but you will not be able to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections. The voters' roll for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections closed on 25 February.
  • Q: Why can't I register online/via mobile phone/by post?
    A: The legislation doesn't allow for electronic or postal registration or voting. You have to apply for registration and vote in person with valid ID.
  • Q: I can't get to my local IEC office to register because I'm in hospital/disabled/elderly. How can I register?
    A: If you are unable to travel, you can contact your local IEC office regarding special registration at your location. However, in order to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections, you must have applied for registration before the voters' roll closed on 25 February.

My registration status

  • Q: How do I know if I'm registered?
    A: At least 7 days after applying, you can check your voter registration details online to find out if you're registered. You can also SMS your ID number to 32810 (R1.00), or call us on 0800 11 8000 (+27 11 654 1000 for calls from outside South Africa).
  • Q: I have just applied for registration, but your system says I'm not registered. Why?
    A: You have applied for registration, but we still have to process your application and that can take approximately 7 days for applications submitted within SA and longer for applications from abroad. Please wait at least 7 days before you check your registration status.
  • Q: It's been more than a week since I applied for registration, but your system still says I'm not registered. What do I do now?
    A: Please email your ID number and contact info to us at webmaster@elections.org.za.
  • Q: I don't have a receipt sticker in my ID book. Does that mean I'm not registered?
    A: No, the sticker is only proof that you applied for registration. The sticker has no bearing on whether or not you're actually registered.

How to register

  • Q: How do I register?
    A: Please see How do I register? for details, but note that 25 February was the final day for registration if you want to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections.

Registering abroad

  • Q: Can I register abroad?
    A: Yes, the Electoral Amendment Act 2013 giving all South African citizens the right to register and vote abroad in national elections has been passed. The cut-off date for registrations abroad was 7 February for those wishing to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections. Please note that in order to vote abroad, you must submit a VEC10 notification before midnight on 12 March.
  • Q: When can I register abroad?
    A: You can register during the embassy, high commission or consulate-general's normal working hours (please see www.dfa.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm for contact info, and phone for opening hours). While registration is on-going, the final day for applying for registration in order to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections was 7 February 2014 in order to allow time for delivery and processing of applications.
  • Q: Where can I register abroad?
    A: You can apply for registration at your nearest South African embassy, high commission or consulate-general (see www.dfa.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm for locations and contact info) during their normal office hours. The final day to apply for registration in order to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections was 7 February 2014.
  • Q: What documentation do I need to take with me in order to apply?
    A: You need to take both your green, bar-coded South African ID book; smartcard ID; or valid Temporary Identity Certificate, AND your South African passport or temporary passport. Both documents must be valid, and no other identity documents can be accepted. The final day to apply for registration in order to vote in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections was 7 February 2014.

Voting/registration age

  • Q: I am 17 years old now, but will turn 18 around the time when the elections will be held. Will I be able to vote?
    A: You must have registered and turned 18 on or before 25 February 2014, the day that the election date was proclaimed (published in the Government Gazette), to be able to vote.
  • Q: I will be younger than 18 years old on proclamation day, should I still register?
    A: Yes, you can register as soon as you have your South African ID. As soon as there's an election when you'll be at least 18 years old on the day that the election date is proclaimed (published in the Government Gazette), we'll add you to the voters' roll so that you can vote.

ID requirements

  • Q: I can't apply for an ID because I don't have a birth certificate, so my right to vote is being denied me. What can I do?
    A: You have to go to the Department of Home Affairs or call them on 0800 601 190 to see how they can help you. Unfortunately we can't help you with this issue. You must have a green, bar-coded South African ID book, smartcard ID, or valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) to register as a voter, and to vote.
  • Q: I have my old blue/TBVC ID, drivers' license or passport. Can I register with it?
    A: No, for the purposes of voter registration, only an original green, bar-coded SA ID book; smartcard ID or valid Temporary Identity Certificate can be accepted. Please apply for your ID book at Home Affairs or contact them on 0800 60 11 90.
  • Q: My ID book is in my maiden name but my married name appears on the voters' roll. Do I need to re-register?
    A: No. We use your ID number and check it against the National Population Register (NPR). We get your name as it's reflected on the NPR (the Department of Home Affairs automatically changes your name when you get married), and that is the name that appears on the Voters' Roll. You can apply to Home Affairs for a new ID reflecting your married name if you want to.
  • Q: What do I need to bring with me when I register as a voter?
    A: You only need a green, bar-coded South African ID book, smartcard ID, or valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC). We can't accept a passport, driver's license, certified copy of ID or any other forms of ID. Please contact Home Affairs on 0800 60 11 90 with any ID-related questions.

When to re-register

  • Q: I have registered, but have moved to a new home. Must I register again?
    A: Yes, you need to register again if you've moved, or your voting district boundaries have changed since you registered. However, the voters' roll for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections closed on 25 February 2014. You can vote at your new voting station, but you won't get a provincial ballot if you vote outside the province where you're registered.
  • Q: I registered for a previous election, do I have to register again?
    A: No, you only have to re-register if your address or voting district has changed. Please check your voter registration details online, SMS your ID number to 32810 (R1.00) or call us on 0800 11 8000 (open 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Proof of registration

  • Q: What proof do I get that I have registered?
    A: A receipt is pasted in your ID book. If your name isn't on the voters' roll on election day and you don't have your registration sticker, you have no proof that you applied for registration and you won't be able to vote. However, the sticker doesn't necessarily mean that you are registered, only that you applied for registration. If, when we process your application, we find that you aren't eligible to vote (for example, if you're not a citizen), you will be added to the rejected portion of the voters' roll. To make sure that your application was successful, please wait 7 days after applying for registration and then check your registration details online, SMS your ID number to 32810 (R1.00), or call 0800 11 8000 (open 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Job opportunities during the elections

Please contact your local IEC office (not the national or provincial offices) to find out about any vacancies.