Going To The DMV? Now You Can Register To Vote Too!

The first part of automatic voter registration has been implemented at DMVs around the state. From now on, when you go to the DMV to renew your driver’s license, the state will check and update your voting registration card for you.

Registering to vote in Illinois just got a lot easier. As of July 2, 2018, when you apply for or renew your driver’s license at a Secretary of State (SOS) facility -- better known as the DMV -- your name will be automatically run against the State Board of Elections’ voter list. If your name is not found on the voter list as an active registered voter, you will be asked if you want to register to vote. If you say yes, you can do so on the spot!

Registration at the DMV is simple. You will be asked to confirm the following information on a touchpad:

  1. I am a U.S. Citizen.
  2. I will be 18 years old or older by the next general election.

Then you sign the touchpad, confirming under oath that you are eligible to vote.

If you answer "yes" to the questions above, you’ll be asked if you’d like to register at your current address. If so, you'll be registered on the spot.

If you answer "no" to either of the questions above, you won't be registered. The voter registration process will end automatically, even if you had affirmatively said "yes I want to be registered to vote" when first asked.

If you choose not to register to vote, for whatever reason, your choice will be kept confidential by the SOS, and it will not affect your in engagement in other services.

We are collecting feedback on this entire process, so if you do visit the DMV and register to vote, please consider filling out this form. Instructional signs should be posted in Spanish, Hindi, and Chinese too. If you don’t see any of those languages, or if there are other concerns, please let us know.

About the Author

Danish Murtaza

As policy associate, Danish Murtaza focuses on policy research and writing, as well as monitoring of legislation in the Illinois General Assembly. Danish analyzes and explains contemporary policy issues regarding government accountability and efficiency. He provides analysis and recommendations to the policy team on legislation in the IL General Assembly.