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(GEN-13-17) Subject: Requirement for distribution of voter registration forms

Publication Date: July 1, 2013

DCL ID: GEN-13-17

Subject: Requirement for distribution of voter registration forms

Summary: This letter outlines the HEA requirement for certain institutions in most states (and the District of Columbia) to make a good faith effort to distribute voter registration forms to their students.

Dear Colleague:

We are writing to remind you of the provision included in section 487(a)(23) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 that references the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and requires certain institutions to distribute voter registration forms to their students.

Under your institution’s Program Participation Agreement, if your institution is located in the District of Columbia, a state that requires voter registration prior to election day, or a state that does not allow voters to register at the time of voting, it is a “covered institution” and you must make a good faith effort to distribute voter registration forms to your students. Note that Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are currently exempt from the NVRA’s requirements; accordingly, institutions in these states are exempt from this requirement. Institutions in all other states, however, are covered institutions. Additionally, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa are not covered by the NVRA, and, consequently, institutions in these territories are not covered institutions.

If your institution is a covered institution, you must make the voter registration forms widely available to your students and distribute the forms individually to your degree or certificate program students who are physically in attendance at your institution. Distribution by regular or electronic mail is permitted. Electronic messages must contain an acceptable voter registration form or an Internet address where that form can be downloaded. If you choose to distribute these forms with an electronic message, that electronic message must be devoted exclusively to voter registration.

This requirement is included in 34 CFR 668.14(d) and is described in .

If you have any questions about the information provided in the letter, please contact Federal Student Aid’s Research and Customer Care Center Staff. Staff is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) at 1-800-433-7327. After-hours calls will be accepted by an automated voice response system. Callers leaving their names and phone numbers will receive a return call the next business day. Alternatively, you may e-mail the Care Center at


Brenda Dann-Messier
Delegated the Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of the
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education

Last Modified: 06/30/2013