Automatic Voter Registration

18 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted Automatic Voter Registration, also known as motor voter laws. 11 states have implemented the process into their state elections. Find out if your state has implemented this system below with our handy chart!

Last Updated: August 27, 2019

State Date Passed Date Implemented Details
Alaska Nov 2016 2017 Passed by initiative.

Automatically registers/updates eligible voters when they complete their annual Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) application, unless they decline via notification sent.

California October 2015 Spring 2018 When an individual goes to the DMV to obtain or renew a driver’s license, or to get a state identification card, the individual will be asked to affirm their eligibility to vote and will be given the choice of opting out of registering at that time. Information about anyone who does not decline registration will be electronically transmitted from the DMV to the Secretary of State’s office, where citizenship will be verified and individuals will be registered.

Plan to expand beyond DMV to other state agencies.

Colorado Early 2017 Early 2017 Automatically registers individuals (or updates current voter registration) when interacting with DMV (in-person transactions, online renewals, changes of address), unless the applicant opts out. Description via email from CO SOS office, Melissa Polk on 4/7/17
Asks for party information at point of service (not a postcard) M. Polk 7.27Accomplished administratively rather than legislatively; codified in May 2019.

May 2019: Legislatively expanded to Medicaid transactions; and opt out postcard sent.

Connecticut May 2016 August 2018 Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a drivers license or nondriver ID card unless the applicant opts out.

This is the first AVR effort accomplished administratively rather than legislatively.

District of Columbia Nov 2016 June 2018 Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a drivers license or nondriver ID card unless the applicant opts out.
Georgia Fall 2016 Fall 2016 Automatically registers individuals (or updates current voter registration) when interacting with DMV unless the applicant opts out.

Accomplished administratively rather than legislatively.

Illinois Aug. 2017 July 2018 (in phases, some agencies in 2019) Automatically registers individuals (or updates current voter registration) when interacting with SOS Driver Services and a number of other state agencies unless the applicant opts out.
Maine June 2019 January 2022 (statutory deadline) Automatically registers individuals when interacting with agency (Bureau of Motor Vehicles and potential for others) unless the applicant opts out.
Maryland April 2018 Anticipated in 2019 Automatically registers individuals when interacting with agency unless the applicant opts out: DMV, health benefit exchange, local departments of social services, and the Mobility Certification Office.
Massachusetts August 2018 January 2020 (statutory deadline) Automatically registers individuals when interacting with agency (DMV, MassHealth, and possibly others) unless the applicant opts out.
Michigan November 2018 Anticipated in 2019 Automatically registers individuals when applying for, updating or renewing a driver’s license or state-issued personal identification card, unless the person declines.
New Jersey April 2018 November 2018 Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a drivers license or personal ID card unless the applicant opts out.

Allows a path for other state agencies to do the same.

Nevada November 2018 January 2020 (statutory deadline) Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a drivers license or identification card unless the applicant opts out; also automatically updates existing voter registration information (e.g., address).
New Mexico March 2019 Implementation date unknown Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a drivers license or identification card unless the applicant opts out; also automatically updates existing voter registration information (e.g., address).
Oregon March 2015 January 2016 When individual “interacts” with DMV (new, renewal, or replacement license, permit, or ID card) he/she will automatically receive an Oregon Motor Voter Card through the mail. The individual will then have the opportunity to select a political party (if they choose), and also the opportunity to decline to be registered.
Rhode Island July 2017 Spring 2018 Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a drivers license or personal ID card unless the applicant opts out.

Allows a path for other state agencies to do the same.

Vermont April 2016 January 2017 Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a drivers license or nondriver ID card, unless they opt out (“checks the box on the application designating that he or she declines to use the application as a voter registration application”).
Washington March 2018 Anticipated in 2019 Automatically registers individuals (or updates current voter registration) when interacting with Department of Licensing, unless the applicant opts out.

Allows a path for other state agencies to do the same.

West Virginia April 2016 Implementation date unknown Automatically registers individuals when they apply for or renew a license unless they opt out (“affirmatively declines to become registered to vote or update voter registration”). Legislation requires the Secretary of State to work with the DMV to create the system.

 

 

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