Press Release - 10-02-2020

DMV news


Friday, October 2, 2020



Three Ways to Apply: In Person, By Mail, Online

Nearly 2.2 Million New Yorkers Applied to Register Through DMV Website


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today reminded New Yorkers that the deadline to register to vote in this November’s election is fast approaching. By October 9, 2020, New Yorkers can apply in-person at the DMV when they complete a driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID transaction. They must have a reservation to visit a DMV office. Those who already have a license, permit or non-driver ID can visit the DMV website to apply to register or update the information they have on file with the Board of Elections. Applications and/or changes to enrollment information must be submitted online no later than October 9.

To apply by mail, applications must be postmarked no later than October 9, 2020, and received by a Board of Elections no later than October 14, 2020, to be eligible to vote in the general election. New Yorkers can also register in person at their local Board of Elections. Those who were honorably discharged from the US Military or have become a naturalized US citizen after October 9, 2020, may register in person at the Board of Elections up until October 24, 2020.

“We are pleased to give New Yorkers a convenient way to apply to register to vote through our online application service,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “It is important that New Yorkers participate in our democracy, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register.”

New Yorkers can easily apply to register to vote or change their enrollment information using the online voter registration application service on the DMV's website. Almost 2.2 million people have applied to register to vote online since 2012. More than 900,000 were first-time voters.

To apply to register using the DMV website, customers must enter information from their New York State driver license, permit, or non-driver ID, their date of birth, current zip code, last four digits of their Social Security Number, and their email address. The information provided is validated to ensure accuracy and security.

The DMV does not approve or deny voter registration applications. Upon completion, DMV sends the voter registration applications to the County Board of Elections for review and action. Once processed, the county will notify the applicants either that they are registered to vote or that additional information is needed to complete the application. Additionally, New Yorkers can use the New York State Board of Elections' website to check their voter registration status.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken decisive action to make it easier for New Yorkers to cast their ballots during the pandemic. Last week, the Governor announced a public awareness campaign to ensure New Yorkers know all the ways they can vote in November's election including voting early, voting absentee, or voting in person on Election Day.

He also issued an Executive Order requiring boards of elections to take concrete steps to inform voters of upcoming deadlines, be prepared for upcoming elections and help ensure absentee ballots can be used in all elections. Each board of elections must develop a plan to allow a registered voter to drop off a completed absentee ballot at a board of elections, early voting location, or election day voting location, without requiring they wait in line with in-person voters, to help minimize delays during in-person voting and promote contactless voting. Plans will be made publicly available in the county board of elections office and on their website when submitted.

In August, the Governor signed legislation that allows voters to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness including COVID-19. Absentee ballots can now be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately. All ballots postmarked before or on the day of the election must be counted if received by November 10.

To be eligible to vote in New York, you must: 

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be 18 years old (you may pre-register at 16 or 17 but cannot vote until you are 18);
  • resident of this state and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election;
  • not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction (unless parolee pardoned or restored rights of citizenship);
  • not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court;
  • not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

Read more about the process for registering to vote on the DMV website