When people go to the DMV to obtain or renew a driver’s license, or to get a state identification card, they’ll be asked for the usual information in such transactions, such as their name, date of birth and address. They’ll also be asked to affirm their eligibility to vote and will be given the choice of opting out of registering at that time. Information about anyone who does not decline registration will be electronically transmitted from the DMV to the secretary of state’s office, where citizenship will be verified and names will be added to the voter rolls. … The law goes into place on Jan. 1, 2016, but the DMV said in a statement that it would not send information to the secretary of state until that office “develops regulations, completes a statewide database system and funding is secured to implement this program.” The regulations, which must be agreed upon between the DMV and the secretary of state, will have to settle basic procedural issues, such as how the “opt-out” question will be phrased and how often the DMV will transmit data.
The statewide voter registration database, Vote-Cal, is on track to be implemented by June 2016, said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. He said he expects funding needs to be minimal, noting that the DMV received money in the current state budget for a technology upgrade. If there are extra costs, he said, “the governor signed the bill, and I interpret his signature as a commitment to funding implementation as necessary.”
Resolving the procedural questions will take some time, Padilla acknowledged. “It won’t be in time for the June primary of 2016,” he said. “At the latest, for the 2018 election cycle, I expect millions of new voters on the rolls in the state of California.”