Everything you need to know about registering as a voter abroad
Voter registration for South African citizens living abroad will take place during office hours at South Africa’s 120 foreign missions, including high commissions, embassies and consulates worldwide. A full list of South Africa’s missions is available on the website of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at
The finalisation of international voter registration follows the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on registration and voting at diplomatic missions abroad.
The agreement gives effect to the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 which provides for all eligible South African citizens to register and vote in national elections. DIRCO has assisted the Electoral Commission with the registration and voting of citizens abroad since 1999.
All South Africa citizens aged 16 and older and in possession of an official South African identity document (either a green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID or a temporary ID certificate) are eligible to register as voters.
Citizens who live abroad must present themselves in person at their nearest South African mission in order to register as voters. In order to apply for registration they will require their South African identity document as well as a valid South African passport.
Citizens living abroad who are already registered to vote – either on the national or international segment of the voters’ roll – need not re-register but will be required to inform the Electoral Commission of their intention to vote outside of the country.
They do so by completing a
secure notification online form
(Notification and Application to CEO for Special Votes Abroad) indicating the mission at which they intend voting. This form will is available on this website at www.elections.org.za from the date the national election is proclaimed for a 15-day period.
The Electoral Commission will issue a notice to this effect after proclamation. For updates on the process to apply to vote abroad please follow the Electoral Commission on social media (see the social media links at the bottom of this page) or visit our website www.elections.org.za.