Registering and Updating Voter Reg at the DMV

Sacramento County, CA (MPG)  |  By Janna Haynes, Sacramento County

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - With the 2020 March Presidential Primary closer than you think, registering to vote and updating your registration and party information is more important than ever. It is also easier than ever – you can register and update your information online, in person or even at the DMV. However, if you go to the DMV, understand that ALL eligible individuals completing driver license or ID card applications or change of address transactions will be registered to vote in the county of their residence unless they choose to opt-out of automatic voter registration.

Our voter registration staff has been hard at work reconciling voter files with information coming from the DMV. They are finding that many residents are unintentionally registering to vote, or mistakenly changing their contact information or party preference. 

If you are completing a driver license/ID application or renewal or changing your address, the touch screen will prompt you with options to 1-Register to Vote, 2-Update Registration or 3- Do Not Change Registration. These options have been confusing to many voters and have led to errors in their voter registration file.

What does each option mean?

I want to register to vote: This is your option if you are currently eligible, but not registered to vote and would like to register.

I want to update my registration: You must update your registration if you have moved, changed your name or want to change your political party status. Updating due to these changes is important to ensure you receive your ballot at the correct location with the correct information come next election. 

I do not want to register to vote or update my registration: This option means you are already registered to vote and you have no changes to your file. Your information is still correct and up to date. 

What changes have been made to the voting process now that Sacramento County is administering elections under the Voter’s Choice Act?

Every registered voter will receive a postage-paid, Vote by Mail ballot

All voters can drop off their ballot at one of 57 Ballot Drop Box location up to 29 days before Election Day

All voters can drop off their ballot, register to vote and vote in person at any Vote Center in the county up to 10 days before Election Day 

All Vote Centers (84 total) will be open at least four days before Election Day

Eligible, but unregistered voters can register online or in-person at a Vote Center, before and through Election Day.

How can I check my registration status online?

Visit the “Check my status” webpage. It will prompt you to enter your name, driver license/ID number, last four numbers of your social security number and your date of birth.

How can I register to vote online?

Visit the Register to Vote website and fill out the online voter registration form. 

Why does it matter if I update my registration information?

If you have moved, changed your name or political party since the last election and did not update your voter registration record, your registration is out of date. To receive the correct ballot for the district you live in, with your correct name and political party preference you must provide up to date information. Your signature validation is based on your latest signature and name on file, so it is critical they match.

What do I need to know about the presidential primary and party preference?

The Primary Presidential Election has moved to March 3, 2020. Primary Presidential Elections are party specific. The party you are registered with is the ballot type you will receive (Ex: If you are a registered Democrat, you will only see declared Democratic Presidential candidates on your ballot). Before the upcoming election check your status to see what party you are registered with. Contact County of Sacramento Voter Registration and Elections office with any questions by calling (916) 875-6451.

For more information on Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections, visit our website.