Special Instructions for Military Voters and Citizens Outside the U.S.

Inquire about the availability of documents in alternate formats.


A voter qualifying to vote under these provisions is:

  • ​A member of the active or reserve components of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard; a Merchant Marine; a member of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps of the United States; or a member on activated status of the National Guard or state militia.
  • A citizen of the United States temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States or the District of Columbia.
  • A citizen serving on a merchant vessel documented under the laws of the United States.
  • A spouse or dependent of a member of the armed forces or any auxiliary branch thereof.
  • A person born outside of the United States or the District of Columbia, whose parent or legal guardian was a resident of this state when the parent or legal guardian was last living within the territorial limits of the United States or the District of Columbia, and he or she has not previously registered to vote in any other state.

In order to register and receive a Vote by Mail ballot, an eligible United States citizen must carefully and accurately, complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).​

The FPCA forms are available at any Registrar of Voters office, with the Voting Assistance Officer of any military base, at any American Consulate office, or online at www.fvap.gov.  The form must be received by the Registrar of Voters office no later than 15 days prior to an election. 

You may return the FPCA by mail to:
You may return the FPCA by fax to:
Fax: (916) 854-9796 

A Vote by Mail ballot will be mailed to you upon receipt of your valid registration beginning 45-60 days prior to Election Day. If you are overseas and unable to access mail, you may request to receive an email with a link to access your ballot electronically through the Accessible Vote by Mail System. The Accessible Vote by Mail System allows you to download and mark your correct ballot, and print your marked ballot when you have finished voting. The system also provides access to your County Voter Information Guide and a downloadable packet containing instructions for returning your voted ballot. If you did not receive an email or did not select email as your ballot preference, you may still access the Accessible Vote by Mail System​ as a Military or Overseas Voter.
Once you receive your ballot and are ready to return it, you may return it by mail, or if you are living outside the Continental U.S. you may return it by fax. Please be sure to follow the instructions for returning your ballot carefully. You may not return a voted ballot by email. If you do not have access to a reliable fax machine, please contact the FVAP at www.fvap.gov or email vote@fvap.gov for more information about their email-to-fax service. 

For more information on Military and Overseas Voting*, or to register to vote through the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, please visit www.fvap.gov​.

*(California EC Division 3, Chapter 2 – Military and Overseas Voters)

If you have any questions see our FAQ’s link at the top of the page, call the Vote by Mail Division at (916) 875-6155 or email militaryandoverseas@saccounty.net.