The State Board of Elections and N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles have begun a free service to allow DMV customers to apply to register to vote or update existing voter-registration information online, state elections officials said Monday.

The service does not require users to complete a DMV transaction, such as a license renewal, at the same time, the State Board of Elections said in a statement.

The change is a response to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Monday, there were 1,307 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina, and six patients have died of the virus, state health officials say.

DMV customers with a North Carolina driver’s license or DMV-issued ID may apply to register to vote or update voter address or political party information through the DMV Voter Registration web page. The application does not allow voters to change their name.

“We’re excited for this new service,” said Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of the State Board of Elections. “It’s another way we can help North Carolina voters while we practice social distancing.”

DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup said that his agency already offered online voter-registration services to customers completing transactions.

“It made sense to collaborate with the State Board of Elections to now offer that same process without requiring a transaction, so we could provide a valuable and convenient service for North Carolinians,” Jessup said.

Individuals using the online process will authorize the signature that DMV has on file for them to be affixed to their voter-registration application, the State Board of Elections said.

DMV’s vendor, PayIt, a digital government and payment platform based in Kansas City, Mo., is hosting the service.

A link to the voter registration service also is available through the State Board of Elections’ website, https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voters/Registering-to-Vote.

County boards of elections will continue to confirm the eligibility of online registrants through standard procedures, including verification mailings, the State Board of Elections said.

Eligible North Carolina residents who are not DMV customers must still fill out a paper-voter registration form and return it to their county board of elections to register to vote or make changes to their voter registration.

jhinton@wsjournal.com

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