Top 10 Voter ID Questions

Story Date: 
Mar 15, 2016

1.    Voter ID is in effect in Wisconsin. You need a photo ID to vote in person on Election Day, to vote early in person at the clerk’s office, and (for most voters) to vote absentee by mail.

2.    Most voters need one of the following kinds of photo ID to vote:
•    Wisconsin drivers' license (current or expired since 11/4/14) (If you have this you do NOT need any other “voter ID” card.)
•    Wisconsin photo ID card (from DMV) (current or expired since 11/4/14)
•    U.S. Passport (current or expired since 11/4/14)
•    Uniformed services ID (current or expired since 11/4/14, or “indefinite” with no expiration date)
•    Veteran’s Administration ID (VA ID) (unexpired)
•    Photo ID from federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin
•    Naturalization certificate from the two years before an election
•    Student ID from a Wisconsin college or university IF the ID has name, photo, signature, issuance date, & expiration date no more than 2 years from issuance date, PLUS proof of enrollment. (Here’s info on which colleges have ID you can use to vote: http://www.commoncausewisconsin.org/2016/03/wi-college-university-students-must-act.html )

•    Receipt from DMV from applying for license or ID card within 60 days.

3.    Some voters do NOT need ID to vote:
•    Permanent overseas and military voters;
•    Voters who are elderly or disabled and consider themselves “indefinitely confined” to home can vote absentee by mail without photo ID. (These voters are often called “permanent absentees.”) (Mark item 6 as “indefinitely confined” on the absentee ballot application form.)
•    Voters in nursing homes or other care facilities who vote with “special voting deputies.”

4.    Your photo ID does NOT have to have your current address to be valid for voting! If you move, you DON’T have to get an ID with your new address. (If you need to register to vote you need a document with your current address, which can be – but does not have to be – your license or ID card.)

5.    Your photo ID does NOT have to have the exact name you use to vote. Nicknames are OK! (As the GAB says, “Richards who go by Rich, Bobs who are also Roberts and Susans with IDs for Sue can all relax.”)

6.    Your photo ID just has to “reasonably resemble” you. (As the GAB says, “Even if you’ve colored your hair, shaved your beard or lost some weight, as long as your photo ID reasonably resembles you, it should be accepted.”)

7.    If you do NOT have valid photo ID, you can apply for an ID for free at any Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.

8.    If you have never had a Wisconsin drivers’ license or state ID card, or haven’t had one in the last 8 years, you should bring:
•    Birth certificate if you have one or could get one for free   
•    (or, one of a few less common kinds of proof of name and date of birth.)
•    If you would have to pay for a birth certificate, you can go to DMV and fill out the “Document Process Verification” form (MV3012) that is at this link, to try to have birth records verified for free.
•    Proof of identity (things like a social security card,  ID or license from another state, or many other documents)
•    Proof of residence

9.    If you’ve had a Wisconsin license or state ID card in the last 8 years, and it’s been lost, stolen, or expired, you should be able to get a new Wisconsin photo ID card for free with:
•    Proof of identity  (and if you don’t have any of the proof of identity papers, you can ask DMV to look up a copy of your photo in their computer system instead); and
•    Proof of residence.

10.    If you’ve changed your name (for example, due to marriage, divorce or name change) you also need to change the name on your ID.
 
If you have other questions or concerns about voter ID, “Like” Wisconsin Election Protection on Facebook or follow @EPWisco on twitter and share them there

If you do not have access to Facebook or twitter, you can email questions or concerns to vote@aclu-wi.org and we will respond as soon as we can.
 
You can also call the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) at 1-866-VOTE-WIS (1-866-868-3947) or check out their website, http://bringit.wi.gov/

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