Oregon Motor Voter Act FAQ
In January 2016 Oregon's voter registration law, Oregon Motor Voter, took effect.
Oregon Motor Voter is modernizing voter registration in Oregon by providing a secure, simple, and convenient way for more Oregonians to become registered voters.
Under the old system, most Oregonians needed to take a
separate step to register to vote at the DMV after obtaining or renewing their
driver license. This law makes voter registration automatic, shifting from
an opt-in process to an opt-out process. It eliminates the need to
fill out the voter registration card for those with qualifying interactions at
the DMV. Instead, eligible Oregonians will receive a mailing from the Oregon
Elections Division explaining their options for registering to vote.
A qualifying interaction is when an eligible unregistered
voter (over 16 years old, an Oregon resident, and a US citizen) visits the DMV
to apply for, renew, or replace an Oregon drivers’ license, ID card, or permit.
With the Oregon Motor Voter card, you have three options:
- Do nothing. You will be registered to vote as a nonaffiliated voter (not a member of a political party).
- Choose a political party by returning the card. Joining a political party will allow you to vote in its primary elections.
- Use the card to opt-out and decline to register to vote.
No. The default is that you will be registered as a
nonaffiliated voter (not a member of a political party). The Oregon Motor Voter
notification (OMV Card)
you receive in the mail will give you the option of
affiliating with a party.
Opting out is simple. The Elections Division will send you information on Oregon Motor Voter that explains your automatic voter registration options. If you don’t want to be registered, just check the box on the OMV Card to opt out, sign it, and drop it in the mail. A pre-paid postage envelope is included with your OMV letter.
You have 21 days from the date the OMV Card is sent to
respond; otherwise you will be automatically registered to vote. However, you
can unregister at any time after that by contacting your county clerk’s office in
writing or in person.
The bill has a robust opt-out provision. Plus, registered
voters can unregister at any time by requesting that their registration be
You only need to opt out once. We will not register you again unless you change your mind. If you do change your mind, you can register to vote either online or by filling out a paper registration form.
Questions about Voting Security
We only begin the OMV process for those who have been coded as citizens by DMV. In Oregon, you must provide proof of legal status in order to get a driver license or ID card. The Elections Division will only send OMV Cards to people who have provided documentation that they are U.S. citizens. Oregon voters are also required to attest to their qualifications --including citizenship -- at the time they submit their ballot.
DMV records are not generally public, but they can be legally accessed by the police, private investigators, and other agencies for legitimate government purposes.
Federal law requires the DMV to take an active role in the voter registration process and the Oregon Elections Division has been obtaining DMV records for several years to
facilitate voter registration.
No. The Elections Division won’t receive data from victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking or human trafficking who have signed up for Oregon’s Address Confidentiality Program
. Victims’ information is separately coded in DMV and will be filtered out.
Most courts pull from both DMV data and voter registration data to select jurors.
If you have a driver license or state ID, you are probably already on the list used
to select jurors.
If you change your address with DMV
, your voter registration information will be updated unless you decline at the DMV. You’ll be sent a
postcard at your new address confirming your voter registration information.
Felons who are not incarcerated are eligible to vote in Oregon. Nothing in the New Motor Voter Act changes that.