To vote in elections, you must register as a voter. You only have to register once, unless you move (within South Africa) or your voting district boundaries change.
Who can register?
- 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; smartcard ID; or valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC).
Register within South Africa
When and where can I register?
You can make an appointment to apply for registration during office hours at the local IEC office responsible for your voting district. Please always phone first to make an appointment.
What documents do I need to apply for registration?
By law, you must apply in person (no online or email registrations are permitted). Please bring your:-
- green, bar-coded ID book;
- smartcard ID; or
- valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC).
No other forms of ID can be accepted. Only original documents (no copies) are accepted.
What happens when I apply?
- Go to your local IEC office
- Fill in an application form
- Your ID book is scanned
- A bar-coded sticker is pasted in your ID book
Please note that completing the form and receiving a bar-coded sticker or receipt doesn't mean that you're registered, it only means that you've applied for registration. Your application must still be processed (may take up to 7 working days). Please see "How do I know if or where I'm registered?" below to find out how to check if your application was successful.
When do I have to re-register?
We continuously strive to provide a better voting experience for voters by ensuring accessibility to voting stations and trying to reduce long queues on Election Day.
To help us achieve this, you need to re-register when:
- your home address changes (if you've moved a short distance, please see Moved since you registered? to find out how to check if your voting district has changed), or
- we inform you that your voting district boundaries have changed. Check your voter registration details to find out if you may have to re-register.
Important: During municipal elections and by-elections, you have to vote at the voting station where you are registered, so it is important to re-register whenever you move or your voting district boundaries change (please check your registration details to check if your boundaries may have changed).
How do I know if or where I’m registered?
To check your registration details, you can:
Note: It can take up to 7 working days for your registration application to be processed.
Still have questions? See FAQ: Voter registration for answers.