Rhode Island ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and implementing social distancing practices, the Presidential Primary on June 2, 2020 will be a predominantly mail ballot election. All registered voters will receive a mail ballot application in the coming weeks. For voters who cannot vote by mail and need to vote in person, review the steps on the Secretary of State's website and check vote.ri.gov before going to vote at a polling place. There will be fewer polling places open and vote by mail is strongly encouraged.

Who is eligible to request a mail ballot and vote by mail?

Any registered Rhode Island voter can vote a mail ballot. No excuse is necessary.

Voter Registration

First-time voters who have not voted in a previous federal election, or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, AND who did not provide either a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number at the time of registration, must present documentation proving their identity in order to complete their voter registration. First time voters who are voting in person must present this documentation at the polls. First time voters who are voting by mail/absentee ballot must enclose a copy of such documentation with their ballot request or ballot. This is required under the federal Help America Vote Act, enacted in 2002.


Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

No. Unless you are a first-time voter – see Voter Registration section above.

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match your voter registration signature.

Last update: April 12, 2020

Hannah Piercey