Is there a way to use an ID provided to members by our organization so that they may enter it (and say their last name) to create a new account by themselves and automatically assign the account to their membership record?

We're importing our membership records from a csv file to our contacts and adding them to the CiviMember data manager, but it is not likely that we'd want to create website user accounts for every member.

Is this possible, or is there a better way for me to handle the membership and user creation on our website? I'm new to CiviCRM and am still trying to get my head wrapped around it. Thanks in advance!

To separate this question from the duplicate question.

Basically, we want to host all membership management using CiviCRM. Some of the members will want to signup for website accounts to manage their information, and some will not (aka our 80+ year old individuals). But since our membership will already be hosted on our website, I want members to assign their membership details to their account automatically by entering in their Membership ID (and say, their last name) which would connect to the "External ID" in the membership record.

Or is there a better way to do this? I'd like to do this automatically, but if there was a way to do the above and manually approve it, that'd work too for the time being.

  • Possible duplicate of How Do You Create Users from Contacts?
    – Demerit
    Sep 22, 2016 at 1:51
  • 3
    I think you might find that if a drupal user account is created, then if there is already a civi record with that email then it will make the connection anyway. so in theory if your contacts just 'create user' then it may happen as you hope.
    – petednz - fuzion
    Sep 22, 2016 at 21:20
  • I don't think this is a duplicate @Demerit - though my guess is that the question may have been edited since you saw it. In this scenario, not all contacts get users, and users are self-created by end users. Sep 23, 2016 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


I believe how well this works will depend on your unsupervised deduplication rules set in civiCRM. If you used external ID, I think you would actually need to change the default rule as well.

If you haven't made any changes, then requiring first name, last name, and email address when creating a Drupal account will link the Drupal user to the correct civiCRM contact (and related membership) the vast majority of the time (As mentioned by petendz in the comments).

This is the setup that we use, where all membership is managed in civiCRM but not all members are Drupal users. The only times when we have user accounts mis-linked is when someone signs up for a Drupal account and uses an email address that we don't have in our database and spells their name differently.

In those few cases, a staff member can easily merge the civiCRM records and maintain the link to the Drupal account, not requiring any action from the users perspective.

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