Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Government Operations & Elections Committee

EHB 1279

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Allowing motor voter preregistration for sixteen and seventeen year olds.

Sponsors: Representatives Bergquist, Riccelli, Hunt, Sawyer, Farrell, Stonier, Reykdal, Fitzgibbon, Lytton, Liias, Maxwell, Orwall, Jinkins, Upthegrove, Pedersen, Ryu, Carlyle, Roberts, Tharinger, Hudgins, Fey, Morrell, Santos, Pollet, Hansen and Ormsby.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Allows 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote when applying for a driver's license or identicard.

Hearing Date: 1/14/14

Staff: Marsha Reilly (786-7135).


Eligibility for voter registration requires that a person be a United States citizen and at least 18

years old on or before the next election. The Department of Licensing (DOL) is required to

provide voter registration services to persons applying for or renewing a driver's license or


Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia authorize individuals younger than 18 years

old to preregister to vote. Those eight states are Delaware, Hawaii, Florida, Maryland, North

Carolina, Rhode Island, California, and Oregon.

Summary of Bill:

The DOL may preregister a person to vote who is at least 16 years of age at the time he or she

applies for a driver's license or identicard. The information contained in the voter preregistration

application is exempt from public inspection and copying.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.