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Every Calendar Year! Register and Request Your Overseas Absentee Ballot

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As a U.S. citizen living abroad, even if you voted in previous years, you need to refile your Overseas Voter Registration and Ballot Request form every calendar year that you want to vote.

The good news is – it’s fast and easy! With U.S. Vote Foundation's voter services:

  • Use our online, guided wizard process to quickly and accurately generate your form 
  • Use our new Photo-Signature-Email functionality to submit your form online immediately with no printing, posting or scanning (further information below)
  • Login to your Voter Account and pre-populate the form with your data
  • For new users, create your Voter Account during the form generation process and you've invested in your voting future already

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)1  was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1986 and gives every eligible U.S. citizen living abroad who is 18 years or older the right to register and request their ballot to vote in Federal Elections from overseas.

In other words, if you are either:

  • a civilian U.S. citizen who resides temporary or permanently outside of the United States while studying, working, traveling, or living abroad; or 
  • an active member, or eligible family member, of the U.S. Uniformed Services and merchant marine (the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, the Space Force, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) stationed away from their place of domicile;

the UOCAVA law extends to you the right to vote for the federal offices of President and Vice President of the United States, your U.S. House of Representatives Congressperson, and your U.S. Senator. In addition, if you are temporarily abroad, or a military voter or family member, you will receive a full ballot from your election office allowing you to vote for state and local election offices as well.

Register and Request Your Overseas Absentee Ballot Today!

Unlike domestic US voters who have to register AND request a ballot using two different forms, overseas voters have to complete just one combined Overseas Voter Registration and Ballot Request form.

Does it really matter which form I use to request my overseas ballot?

The Overseas Voter Registration and Ballot Request form is often referred to as the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) because in the past, it was printed on card stock. Now it is online, but you will still often encounter the term FPCA.

By filling out the FPCA form, you simultaneously register to vote and request an absentee ballot each calendar year. More good news for you – the process is online and easy to access. It is very efficient and convenient way to participate in the democratic process from abroad. Furthermore, you can use this form to update your contact information in case you have already registered as an overseas voter, but your address has changed.

Generate your Overseas Registration and Ballot Request on the U.S. Vote Foundation Website

Registering and requesting your ballot through U.S. Vote Foundation’s website gives you few important advantages2, including:

  • Easy, guided process for entering the required information on your form
  • Generate and download a completed voter registration / absentee ballot request form; 
  • Create and manage your Voter Account - personal democracy profile; 
  • Identify your election office and contact details;
  • Check your voter registration status; 
  • See your election dates and deadlines; 
  • Subscribe to Voter Alerts;
  • Get help from the Voter Help Desk

Three Things You Need to Know

1. The type of voter you are:

  • A U.S. citizen civilian living abroad: You will be asked to indicate if you are temporarily abroad and certain of your return, or indefinitely abroad and your return is uncertain; or
  • An active member of the Uniformed Services stationed abroad; or
  • An eligible family member of an active member of the Uniformed Services;  

2.  Your “Last U.S. Residence Address” – also called your “Voting Residence Address”. This address determines in which state you’re eligible to vote. It is the address in the U.S. where you’ve lived before you have moved abroad. For more information on your Voting Residence Address,  For military voters, it is their last address in their state where they’ve lived before their deployment.

If you are unsure of what address to use, see the question "What address should I use when registering to vote from overseas?" in the Address Questions section of our Voter Help Desk.

For military voters – please see Voting for Uniformed Services Members for more information on determining your domicile for the purposes of voting.

For U.S. citizens born abroad who have never lived in the U.S., your Voting Residence Address is your U.S. parent’s last U.S. address before they moved abroad.

As of 2024, the states that allow U.S. citizens born abroad who never resided in the U.S. to use their parent’s or legal guardian’s last U.S. address as their own voting address3 include:

  • Alaska (Federal Elections only)
  • Arizona
  • California (only if you have not registered or voted in another state)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut (Federal Elections only)
  • Delaware (Federal Elections only)
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois (all elections for the children of Active Duty parent/legal guardian; Federal Elections only for civilian overseas U.S. citizens)
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan (only if you have not registered or voted in another state)
  • Minnesota (Federal Elections only)
  • Montana (Federal and State Elections only if you have not registered or voted in another state)
  • Nebraska (Federal and State Elections only if you have not registered or voted in another state)
  • Nevada (Federal and State Elections only if you have not registered or voted in another state)
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York (Federal Elections only)
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon (only if you intend to reside in Oregon and your parent, legal guardian or a spouse is an overseas voter)
  • Rhode Island (Federal Elections only)
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota (Federal and State Elections only if you have not registered or voted in another state)
  • Tennessee
  • Utah (Federal Elections only)
  • Vermont
  • Virginia (Federal and State Elections only if you have not registered or voted in another state)
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin (Federal Elections only)

If your state is not listed, please check with your local election official to find out if you can qualify to voter as a UOCAVA voter.

3.  Your Identification: you will be asked to provide either the 4 last digits of your Social Security Number (SSN), or, for a few states including New Mexico, Tennessee, and Virginia, you’ll be asked to provide your full 9-digit SSN. If you have a valid state driver’s license, that is also accepted as a state ID.

Submit the form – 2 Options – Choose the one that’s right for you

  • New! Photo-Signature-Email Form Submission: U.S. Vote Foundation is introducing a new form submission option for states that allow you to submit the FPCA form by email without additional ID documents. Not all states allow this for first time voters or in general. But where they do, U.S. Vote Foundation will give you the option to use our Photo-Signature-Email functionality to add your signature to your form and send it to your election office instantly through the U.S. Vote Foundation system.
  • Download-Print-Sign and Submit Form – the classic, foolproof option is to download, print and sign the form. All states accept the FPCA form by postal mail. Some states accept this form as a scanned email attachment. You can look up all the options for your state in the Voter Materials Transmission Options section of your State Voter Information directory.


You can submit your Overseas Registration / Ballot Request (FPCA) at any time during the calendar year of the election, starting on or after January 1st. 

As an overseas voter, there are no “not earlier than” state law requirements for requesting an absentee ballot. You can submit your form anytime during the calendar year of the election. However, the earlier you register, the better. Each state has different deadlines which you can easily consult in U.S. Vote Foundation’s Election Dates and Deadlines listing for your state. Or, login to your Voter Account and check your deadlines there.

For further information see our Step-by-Step Guide to Overseas Voting





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