McAuliffe announces new voter registration innovation

lawGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced today a new innovation from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Department of Elections enabling customers to apply electronically to register to vote at DMV’s 74 customer service centers and five mobile offices throughout the Commonwealth.

Virginians have been able to apply to register to vote at DMV since 1996, and a majority of Virginians who apply to register to vote or change their addresses do so through DMV transactions. Each year, DMV submits more than 500,000 paper voter registration applications to the Department of Elections.

“This new innovation is a great example of government using technology to serve taxpayers better and make it easier to participate in our elections,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the announcement. “By streamlining the voter application process at the DMV we will help Virginians to get in and out of customer service centers faster and give DMV employees more time to focus on customers, rather than processing stacks of paper applications. I want to thank the teams at the Virginia DMV and the Department of Elections who worked hard to enhance the experience they offer taxpayers while conserving government resources in the process.”

DMV’s new electronic voter registration application process, which the agencies are launching this month, will make the voter registration process quicker and easier for the customer. It also will drastically reduce the amount of time DMV employees spend printing, sorting, auditing and mailing paper voter applications. This work can take two to four hours per day for the assigned DMV employee at each office, time better spent on direct customer service.

“We consider this new electronic application process to be a win-win for everyone involved,” Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Ric Holcomb said. “DMV will experience a significant reduction in staff time and paper usage, and our customers will receive even more efficient service at their local DMV office.”

In addition, the new system also enables DMV customers who need to update their address with both agencies to do so electronically on DMV’s website,, rather than having to complete and mail a paper voter application.

Just as DMV customers can conduct more than 40 transactions securely through the DMV website, the new system gives customers – at their fingertips – the power to submit through a keypad the necessary information that election officials need to process e-applications. This will eliminated most paper registrations originating from DMV, improve the accuracy of data entry, decrease processing times for registrations and reduce the transfer time of completed forms from DMV to local registration offices.

With the old system, a customer who indicated an interest in applying to register to vote at DMV would be given a paper voter application to complete. DMV would mail that application to the Department of Elections which would then mail it to the customer’s local general registrar to complete the voter registration process.

“These upcoming changes will not only make the registration process more flexible, efficient and portable, but it will reduce the administrative burden for registrars,” Virginia Commissioner of Elections Edgardo Cortés said. “We are excited to work with DMV officials as they modernize this process and thank them for their continued partnership in providing registration opportunities for Virginians.”


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