Enrolling to Vote
Voting is an important part of the democratic process. It's how you have a say in lots of things that affect you, your friends, your family and your community. But before you can vote, you need to enrol.
You're not enrolled automatically. To get your name on the electoral roll so that you are able to vote, you need to enrol yourself.
But if you don't enrol, you can't vote. Simple as that.
How Do I Enrol?
Enrolling is easy, and you only need to enrol once to be allowed to vote at Federal, State and local council elections. You just complete an enrolment form.
There are deadlines around enrolment, though. To be able to vote in any particular election you need to be enrolled by a certain date before the election actually happens.
This date is called the "close of rolls date". If you don't enrol before an election's close of rolls date then you can't vote in that election. If you're eligible to enrol, this means that you may be fined for not voting.
This is why it's a good idea to enrol as soon as you're eligible, so that you can start voting as soon as possible and avoid the chance of being fined.
Where Do I Get the Enrolment Form?
There are a number of ways to find an enrolment form. You can:
- Download it from the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) (new window)
- Pick one up from any Centrelink office
- Pick one up from the VEC office at Level 11, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne (access via tower lifts)
- Call 131 832 to ask for one in the mail
How Do I Fill It In?
The enrolment form has instructions, but the VEC has a list of frequently asked questions about enrolment (new window).
If you're enrolling for the first time, once your enrolment form is complete, before you send it in you need to print it out, sign it by hand and make sure it has been witnessed where appropriate.
Where Do I Send It?
You can return your completed, signed and witnessed enrolment form by either:
- Mailing it or hand-delivering it to the VEC at Level 11, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne (access via tower lifts).
- Hand-delivering it to any Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) Victorian Divisional Office (new window).
- Faxing it to (03) 9277 7126
When Can I Enrol?
You can enrol to vote when you turn 17, but you can’t actually vote until you are 18.
Do I Have To Enrol?
Yes. It’s compulsory to enrol and to vote in both local and state elections in Victoria if you're an Australian citizen aged 18 years or over living in Victoria, and you have lived at your current address in Victoria for at least one month.
If you fit the above description, but you haven't enrolled to vote in Victoria, you are not allowed to vote in either state or local elections in Victoria. You may also be fined for failing to vote.
What If I Move?
If your postal address changes, you will need to fill out an enrolment form to make sure you are registered to vote in the right elections. Check out our Check or change your enrolment page for more information about changing your details after you have enrolled.
Do I Have to Enrol to Vote In Local Council Elections?
When you enrol for State and Federal elections, you’re automatically enrolled for the local council that matches your current address. If you are the first or second named ratepayer on a property, you will also be automatically enrolled for that council.
You can only vote in local council elections that match your current address, or the address of any property you are the main ratepayer for.
If you want to vote in a particular local council election that doesn't match the address of where you live (or the address of any of the properties you pay rates on), you may still be able to apply to vote in a different local council election. Visit the VEC website (new window) to find out more.
Victorian Electoral Commission
The VEC is the organisation that conducts Victorian State elections and local council elections in Victoria, as well as some other kinds of elections.
Australian Electoral Commission
The AEC is the organisations responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums.