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Voter ID requirements

Each state sets its own voter ID rules. And most require voters to bring identification to vote in person. Know the voter ID laws in your state before going to the polls.

Find out if you need to bring an ID to vote

Your state's laws determine whether you will need to show an ID and, if so, what kind.

Your state may require you to show a photo ID like a driver's license, state ID, or passport. Or they may ask to see another form of identification like your voter registration card, birth certificate, or Social Security card.

Find out what ID your state requires you to bring when you vote.

Special ID rules for some first-time voters

According to federal law, first-time voters must show identification when they vote on Election Day if:

  • They did not register in person, and
  • They did not show ID when they registered

Acceptable forms of ID you can show when you vote include:

  • Current and valid photo identification
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • A government-issued document that shows your name and address

Procedures for voting without ID

Even if you do not have a form of ID that your state asks for, you may be able to vote.

Some states may ask you to sign a form affirming your identity. Find out if you can vote in your state without ID and what information you may need to provide when you vote.

Other states will let you cast a provisional ballot.

  • States use provisional ballots when there is a question about a voter's eligibility.
  • They keep your provisional ballot separate until they investigate your eligibility. You may have to return to show an acceptable form of ID within a few days, or the ballot will not count.

Learn more about provisional ballots and if you may need to cast one in your state.

Provisional ballots for name or address mismatch

Even with the right ID, you may have to cast a provisional ballot. This can happen if the name or address on your ID does not match the name or address on your voter registration. For instance:

  • You get married, change your last name, and update your voter registration. But your driver's license, which you present as ID, still has your unmarried name on it.
  • You move and for your voter ID, you present a current utility bill. But you forgot to update the address on your voter registration and the two addresses do not match.

Some states require that you notify your local registration office of any name change.

Avoid problems. Learn how to update your voter registration when you move or change your name.

LAST UPDATED: February 16, 2024


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