Right to vote

Introduction

To vote in any election and referendum, you must be entitled to vote. Your entitlement is based on your nationality, and there are rules about the nationalities that are allowed to vote in elections and referendums in Ireland.

You must also be:

Even if you are eligible to vote because of your nationality, you cannot vote if you are not registered on the Register of Electors. You can check the register to see if you are registered. See our document ‘Registering to vote’ for more information.

This document explains who is eligible to vote in:

If your citizenship changes, you should update your details on the Register of Electors.

You can read more about voting in a general election.

Irish citizens

Irish citizens can vote in:

You must be aged 18 years or over, and registered to vote. You cannot register to vote if you live outside Ireland, although there are some exceptions.

Seanad elections

To vote in Seanad elections, you must be an Irish citizen who is:

If you are eligible, you can vote in the NUI and Trinity College constituencies, even if you are resident outside Ireland.

British citizens

British citizens who live in Ireland can vote in:

If you are a British citizen living in Ireland after Brexit, you will no longer be entitled to vote in European elections.

British citizens are identified by the letter 'D' on the Register of Electors.

European Union citizens

Citizens of the EU who live in Ireland can vote in:

If you are an EU citizen, other than an Irish or British citizen, and you were not registered to vote in previous European elections in Ireland, you must also complete a declaration on form EP1 (available online and from your local authority). This is to guard against double voting in European elections. The local authority will send the information in your declaration to your country of nationality.

You must be registered at one address only and you must live at that address on 1 September before the Register comes into force. If you move away from the address at which you are registered, you will need to contact the local authority and give them your new address.

If you leave your address but you plan to return there within 18 months, you can continue to be registered there, as long you do not register at any other address.

EU citizens are identified by the letter ‘E’ on the Register of Electors.

Non-EU citizens

Citizens from outside the European Union can vote in:

You can vote in a local election if you are a non-EU citizen, regardless of the type of residence you hold, or if you are seeking asylum and have not had a decision on your application.

Non-EU citizens are identified by the letter 'L' on the Register of Electors.

What happens if my citizenship changes?

If your citizenship changes, you should update your details on the Register of Electors.

If you become an Irish citizen, and you are already registered to vote, you should complete form RFA5 to add your new citizenship details to the Supplement to the Register of Electors. You will need to supply proof that you are now an Irish citizen (either a copy of your naturalisation certificate, or a copy of the photo page of your Irish passport).

Further information and contacts

You can read more about:

You can also contact your local authority, or the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Franchise Section

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Custom House
Dublin 1
D01 W6X0
Ireland

Tel: (01) 888 2000
Locall: 1890 20 20 21

Page edited: 16 January 2020