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 Federal, State and Local Election Information for Voter Registration and Identification

Updated August 8, 2011

Help America Vote Act

Help America Vote Act (HAVA - 2002) is a federal program that reformed aspects of the United States election system. The law was prompted by voting issues encountered in the contested Presidential election of 2000. HAVA has four components, including: 

  • Budgeting nearly three billion dollars to U.S. states to replace punch card voting systems
  • Creating the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to assist in the administration of Federal elections
  • Providing assistance with the administration of certain Federal election laws
  • Establishing minimum election administration standards.


Voter Identification: State Requirements

Under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), every state must at least follow the minimal federal voting ID guidelines which are listed below. It is recommended that those without ID register to vote in person at their local registration office to avoid being turned away on Election Day.



State Requirements

Thirty states have tougher ID requirements than those specified in HAVA. They can be categorized as follows:

  • Strict Photo ID States -  These seven states absolutely require all voters to present a form of photo identification at the polls. If the voter can not provide valid photo ID, as is defined by the state, they may still fill a provisional ballot, but the voter must return to the polling place within a specific number of days with a photo ID to have their ballot counted.
  • Photo ID States - These seven states request and highly recommend voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, but they have more alternatives than strict photo ID states, such as affidavits swearing to the voter’s identity and reciting the voter’s date of birth.
  • Non-Photo ID States - These sixteen states have ID requirements to vote but the ID does not need to contain a photograph. Accepted ID usually includes utility bills, paychecks, and bank statements.


State Laws Appendix

Key: (SP) = Strict Photo ID (P) = Photo ID            (NP) = Non-Photo ID

Unless stated otherwise, all states follow HAVA standards and all required ID must be current.

Alabama (P)
Before the 2014 Primaries:
No identification is required to register to vote, but a social security number is requested. A non-photo ID is required to vote. If a voter does not have proper ID, they may still vote by provisional ballot if two poll workers confirm the voter is on the poll list and those workers sign the voting sign-in register by the voter’s name.
Acceptable ID:
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Employee photo ID
  • Student or employee photo ID issued by an Alabama college or  university
  • Utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it
  • State or federal government-issued ID card
  • U.S. passport
  • Alabama hunting, fishing, or gun license
  • FAA-issued pilot’s license
  • U.S. military ID
  • Birth certificate (if a copy, must be certified)
  • Social security card
  • Naturalization document
  • Court record of adoption or name change
  • Medicaid or Medicare card
  • Electronic benefits transfer card

By the 2014 Primaries:
A photo ID is required to vote. If a voter does not have a photo ID, they may still vote by provisional ballot if two poll workers confirm the voter is on the poll list and those workers sign an affidavit stating so.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Driver’s license or a state-issued non-drivers ID
  • Voter ID card or any state or government-issued photo ID
  • U.S. passport
  • Government employee card
  • Student or employee ID issued by an Alabama college or university
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Tribal ID

Alaska (NP)
An ID with a signature (can be a voter ID card) is required to vote. This requirement can be waived if the election official knows the voter. A provisional ballot may be filled as an alternative.
Acceptable ID:

  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Voter registration card
  • Hunting or fishing license
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it

Arizona (NP)
Identification (photo not necessary) is required when registering to vote (photocopies accepted). When voting at the polls, voters are required to show either a valid photo ID or two valid IDs without photos.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Arizona driver’s license
  • Arizona non-driver ID
  • Tribal ID
  • U.S. federal, state, or local government ID

Acceptable Non-Photo ID (two different forms are required without photo ID):

  • Utility bill dated within 90 days of the election
  • Bank statement dated within 90 days of the election
  • Arizona vehicle registration
  • Vehicle insurance card
  • Indian census card
  • Property tax statement
  • Recorder’s Certificate  

Arkansas (NP)
At least a photocopy of an ID (photo not necessary) must be included with registration. If a photocopy of an ID, driver’s license, state ID, or social security number is not included with registration, voters may only vote by provisional ballot unless they produce one of those forms at the polls. An ID is requested to vote on Election Day: voters may still vote by regular ballot if they are unable to produce an ID. An election official will indicate that the voter did not show ID.
Acceptable ID:

  • Driver’s license
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Voter card
  • Social security card
  • Birth certificate
  • U.S. passport
  • Employee ID card
  • Student ID card
  • Arkansas hunting license
  • U.S. military ID card
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it

California
If no ID is provided at registration, including the last four digits of the voter’s social security number, then an ID (photo not necessary) is required at the polls. If no identification numbers were provided on the registration form and voting by mail for the first time, a copy of an ID is accepted (photo not necessary).

Colorado (NP)
No IDs or copy of IDs are needed to register, but all voters must supply identification at the polls (photo not necessary). A provisional ballot may be filled as an alternative.
Acceptable ID:

  • Colorado driver’s license
  • Colorado Department of Revenue ID card
  • U.S. passport
  • Employee ID card issued by the federal, state, or local government
  • Pilot’s license
  • U.S. military ID with a photo
  • Medicare or Medicaid card
  • Certified birth certificate copy
  • Certified document of naturalization
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it

Connecticut (NP)
A driver’s license number, state ID number, the last four digits of a social security number, or a copy of an ID (photo not necessary) must be provided when registering OR the first time voting. If it is not a voter’s first time voting and they do not have an ID they may sign an affidavit in lieu of showing an ID.
Acceptable ID:

  • Social security card
  • Any preprinted form which shows the voter’s name and has either the voter’s address, signature, or photograph

Delaware (NP)
All voters must show identification at the polls (photo not necessary). If lacking identification a voter may sign a sworn affidavit and vote by regular ballot.
Acceptable ID:

  • Photo ID
  • Utility bill
  • Paycheck
  • Any government document with the voter’s name and address

Florida (P)
No form of ID is required to register, but a photo ID is required to vote. If the photo ID does not have a signature, another form of ID containing a signature is required. If a voter does not have a photo ID they may use a provisional ballot. The ballot will be counted if the signature on the ballot envelope matches the signature on the registration form.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Florida driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card
  • U.S. passport
  • Debit or credit card
  • Military ID
  • Student ID
  • Retirement center ID
  • Neighborhood association ID
  • Public assistance ID

Georgia (SP)
A photocopy of a valid ID (photo not necessary) must be included with mail-in registration forms. All voters must show a valid photo ID on Election Day. If a photo ID is not provided, one can vote by provisional ballot. In order for the provisional ballot to be counted a valid photo ID must be produced within two days.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Georgia driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card (can be expired)
  • Free voter ID card issued by the state or county
  • U.S. passport
  • Employee ID card issued by the federal, state, or local government
  • U.S. Military ID card
  • Tribal photo ID

Hawaii (P)
When registering to vote a photocopy of an ID (photo not necessary) is required. If it is not provided, it is required the first time voting, either in person or absentee. When voting in person, a photo ID if required if it is requested by an election official. If one does not have a requested photo ID, the poll worker will ask the voter to recite their birth date and address to confirm identity with the poll book.
Acceptable Photo ID is not specifically listed by law, but poll workers request ID with a signature.

Idaho (P)
A photocopy of a valid ID (photo not necessary) is needed to register to vote. If a voter does not have a driver’s license, the last four digits of their social security number are required to register. A photo ID is required to vote. A regular ballot may still be filled if an affidavit is signed as an alternative to showing a photo ID at the polls.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Idaho driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card
  • U.S. Passport
  • Government agency-issued photo ID
  • Tribal ID card
  • Student ID card issued by an Idaho high school or college

Illinois
When registering to vote a driver’s license number, state ID number, social security number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required. If an applicant does not have any of these numbers then a photocopy of an ID (photo not necessary) must be submitted. If none of the previously mentioned identifiers are submitted at time of registration, then an ID is required the first time voting, whether in person or absentee.

Indiana (SP)
If registering to vote for the first time in Indiana by mail, a copy of an ID is required (photo not necessary). If a copy of an ID is not submitted, you will be asked to show it the first time you vote. When voting in person a photo ID is required. If you are unable or unwilling to show a photo ID you may vote by provisional ballot. If voting absentee a photo ID is not required. The ID cannot be a student ID from a private institution.
Acceptable Photo ID is not specifically listed by law, but it must:

  • Be issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government
  • Show the name and photo of the voter
  • Be current or have expired after the last general election

Iowa
Identification is not required to register by mail. If you are registering on Election Day, ID is needed (photo not necessary). If you do not have ID then a registered voter in your precinct may attest for you, both you and the attester must sign a sworn oath. You may need to show an ID (photo not necessary) when voting if it is your first time voting since 2003, you have moved since you registered, or if your registration is inactive or still pending.

Kansas (SP)
Before January 1, 2012:
Identification (photo not necessary) is required at only one of four points during the voting process: either at registration, after sending in the registration form but before Election Day, on Election Day, or after Election Day but before the County Canvass.

By January 1, 2012:
A photo ID issued by the state or federal government or a Kansas accredited college or university is required at the polls unless the voter:

  • has a permanent physical disability that does not allow them to travel to obtain proper ID and they have permanent advance voting status
  • is a member of the merchant marine or are on active duty and not in their county of residence or the voter is a spouse or dependent of one of these persons
  • has religious beliefs that do not allow them to have photo ID

The photo ID may be expired if the voter is at least 65 years of age. If the voter does not have acceptable photo ID they may fill a provisional ballot and provide a proper form of ID before the meeting of the county board of canvassers.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Driver’s license from any state
  • Kansas-issued non-drivers ID
  • Concealed handgun or weapon license
  • U.S. passport
  • Government employee card
  • Military ID
  • Student ID issued by a Kansas accredited college
  • Government-issued public assistance ID card

Kentucky (NP)
Identification is not required to register to vote. At the polls, a voter must be either personally recognized by an election officer or show a document proving identity. If the voter’s right to vote is challenged, an affidavit attesting to the voter’s qualifications may be signed.
Acceptable ID:

  • Driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Credit card

Louisiana (P)
A driver’s license number, state ID number, social security number, or the last four digits of a social security number are required to register. If an applicant does not have any of these numbers then a photocopy of an ID (photo not necessary) must be submitted. All voters must provide a photo ID at the polls. If a voter does not have one, then an ID without a photo or possibly other information such as a registration certificate or date of birth must be provided and the voter will have to sign an affidavit in order to vote. The ballot of any person who votes without a photo ID is still subject to challenge.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Louisiana driver’s license
  • Louisiana special ID card
  • Any other generally recognized photo ID

Maine
A photocopy of a valid ID (photo not necessary) is required to register to vote. There are no ID requirements for registered voters at the polls.

Maryland
Identification is not required when registering to vote. First time voters and voters who did not fulfill the identification requirements at the time of registration must provide an ID (photo not necessary) at the polls.

Massachusetts
A unique voter registration number will be assigned to registrations without a driver’s license or the last four digits of their social security number. If ID is not provided at the time of registration it must be provided the first time voting, at which point a person may vote by provisional ballot while waiting for their identity to be verified. All first time voters must also show an ID (photo not necessary) but may vote by regular ballot assuming their identity was verified at the time of registration.

Michigan (P)
When registering to vote a driver’s license number, state ID number, social security number, last four digits of a social security number, OR a photocopy of a valid ID (photo not necessary) is required. When voting a photo ID is necessary. If one does not have a photo ID then the voter must sign an affidavit attesting to their identity and they may cast a regular ballot.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Michigan driver’s license or state-issued personal ID card (can be out of date)
  • Driver’s license or state-issued personal ID card (can be from any state, but must be current)
  • Federal or state-issued photo ID
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID
  • Student ID from a high school or accredited college
  • Tribal ID

Minnesota
When registering to vote by mail, a driver’s license number, state ID number, social security number, or the last four digits of a social security number are required, unless one signs stating they do not have any of these numbers issued. No further identification is necessary to register, but registration identification is necessary on Election Day. First time voters also must show either a photo ID with current address or a photo ID and an ID with address. Also, a registered voter in the precinct may vouch for the voter. All other voters may be asked to verbally confirm information but will not be asked to show an ID.

Mississippi
A driver’s license number, state ID number, social security number, or the last four digits of a social security number are required to register. If an applicant does not have any of these numbers then a photocopy of an ID (photo not necessary) must be included with the mail-in registration form. If identification is not provided at the time of registration, it is required the first time voting.

Missouri (NP)
A photocopy of an ID is needed to register. An ID is also required to vote. If a voter does not have an ID they may still vote if two election judges (one from each major political party) attest to the person’s eligibility to vote in their precinct.
Acceptable ID:

  • ID issued by the federal, state, or local government
  • ID issued by a Missouri institution of higher education
  • Driver’s license or state ID card issued by any state
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it

Montana (NP)
A driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of a social security number must be provided to register. If an applicant has not been issued any of these numbers a photocopy of an ID (photo not necessary) is needed to register. An ID is required to vote. If one does not have an acceptable form of ID, they may vote by provisional ballot and show an ID by 5pm the next day, or they may fill out a “Polling Place Elector ID” form.
Acceptable ID:

  • Driver’s license
  • School district or post-secondary institution photo ID
  • Tribal photo ID
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, voter registration confirmation, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it

Nebraska
A driver’s license number or the last four digits of a social security number are required for registration. If a photocopy of an ID was not included with registration, it is required the first time voting.

Nevada
If ID is not provided at registration then it must be shown the first time voting.

New Hampshire
Registering to vote must be done in person, unless one signs an affidavit stating they have a physical disability, religious reasons, military service, or temporary absence. When registering in person, an identification to prove citizenship, residency, and age is required. No ID must be shown on Election Day.

New Jersey
If a driver’s license number, state ID number, the last four digits of a social security number, or a photocopy of an ID was not provided at the time of registration it is required for first time voters. If a first time voter in New Jersey does not have an ID they may vote by provisional ballot and have two days to supply the necessary identification requirements.

New Mexico
An ID or copy of an ID (photo not necessary) is required when registering by mail. If a registrant does not have an ID a verbal or written statement given by the registrant attesting to their name and birth date, a unique identifier may be used instead, but this option is not available to those registering by mail. First time voters who did not fulfill the ID requirement during registration will be issued a provisional ballot.

New York
If a driver’s license, the last four digits of a social security number, or ID were not provided upon registering, then an ID is required for first time voters.

North Carolina
If a driver’s license number, state ID number, the last four digits of a social security number, or a photocopy of an ID was not provided at the time of registration it is required for first time voters.

North Dakota (NP)
There is no voter registration, but precincts keep lists of people who have voted in previous elections. On Election Day, voters are asked to show an ID (photo not necessary) that shows their address. If the voter does not have an ID but the poll workers vouch for the voter then they may cast a ballot. If a poll worker does not vouch, then a person may sign a sworn affidavit that states they are a qualified voter.
Acceptable ID:

  • An official form of ID issued by the state, a tribal government, or the secretary of state

Ohio (NP)
A driver’s license, state ID number, social security number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required to register. If none of these numbers have been issued then a photocopy of an ID (photo not necessary) must be included with the voter registration. An ID (photo not necessary) is required for all voters at the polls AND for absentee ballots. If a voter does not have an ID, they may vote with a provisional ballot and will me asked but not required to give the last four digits of their social security number and sign an affidavit.
Acceptable ID:

  • Current and valid photo ID that includes the voter’s name and address and was issued by Ohio or the federal government
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it

Oklahoma (NP)
A driver’s license, state ID number, social security number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required to register. Including a photocopy of and ID is encouraged. A current photo ID is required at the polls unless the voter can provide their voter registration card. Otherwise, the voter may sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot.
Photo ID must meet the following criteria:

  • Show a name that conforms to one in the precinct registry
  • Show a photograph
  • Expire after the election
  • Issued by the federal government, Oklahoma, or a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation

Oregon
Oregon is a vote by mail state. In order to receive a ballot, those without a driver’s license number or social security number must provide a photocopy of a valid ID with registration.

Pennsylvania
A driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required to register unless none of these numbers have been issued. All first time voters must vote in person and are required to show a valid ID.

Puerto Rico
Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico are not eligible to vote in U.S. federal elections; however they fall under U.S. jurisdiction and therefore must comply with HAVA regulations for local elections. All voters must register to vote in person. Voters provide their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number and then receive a photo voter ID card that they show at the polls.

Rhode Island (NP)
Before January 1, 2012:
A driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required to register. If none of these numbers have been issued, a valid ID (photo not necessary) is required prior to voting.

By January 1, 2012:
ID is required at the polls. Those without proper ID may fill a provisional ballot which will be counted if the signature on the ballot matches the one from the voter’s registration. Non-photo ID is accepted until January 2014, when photo ID will be required.
Acceptable Photo ID (required by 2014):

  • Rhode Island driver’s license
  • Rhode Island voter ID card
  • U.S. passport
  • ID card from a U.S. educational institution
  • U.S. Military ID card
  • ID card issued by the federal or Rhode Island government
  • Government-issued medical card

Acceptable Non-Photo ID (allowed until 2014):

  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Government-issued medical card

South Carolina (SP)
Current Law (NP):
A full social security number is required to register. Also, if a photocopy of an ID is not provided at the time of registration, both a voter ID card AND another form of ID are required at the polls. All voters must supply either their voter ID card they received after mailing in their registration or a valid photo ID.

After receiving preclearance by the U.S. Department of Justice:
A current photo ID is required to vote. A photo voter registration card will be supplied for free to South Carolina citizens who are 17 and older via their local county board of voter registration, but it requires a birth certificate or passport to acquire one. A provisional ballot may be filled if the voter cannot provide a photo ID, but the voter must produce a valid photo ID before the election is certified by the county board of canvassers in order to have the provisional ballot counted.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • South Carolina driver’s license or another form of photo ID issued by the South Carolina DMV
  • Passport
  • Military ID issued by the federal government
  • South Carolina voter registration card with a photo

South Dakota (P)
When registering to vote a driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required. When voting, all voters must have a valid photo ID. If a voter does not have a photo ID they may sign a personal identification affidavit.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • South Dakota driver’s license or non-driver ID card
  • U.S. passport
  • Federal government-issued photo ID
  • Tribal ID card
  • Student ID card for an accredited South Dakota school

Tennessee (SP)
Before January 1, 2012:
When registering to vote a social security number is required, unless an applicant has not been issued one. First time voters must show either their voter ID card or a photo ID. If a first time voter has neither, a non-photo ID AND a document with their signature or a signed personal identification affidavit are required. All voters must present a photo ID, a document with their signature, or a personal identification affidavit.

By January 1, 2012:
A photo ID is required at the polls. A provisional ballot may be filled as an alternative, but a photo ID must be produced within two business days after voting day.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Tennessee driver’s license
  • Photo ID card issued by any state
  • Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. military ID with a photo

Texas (SP)
Current Law (NP):
All voters must show either their voter ID card or a valid ID and sign a personal identification affidavit.

After receiving preclearance by the U.S. Department of Justice:
A photo ID is required at the polls. The ID cannot have expired more than 60 days before voting day. Any persons 70 or older may present a voter registration certificate instead of photo ID. A voter without a photo ID at the polls may cast a provisional ballot. In order to have the ballot counted, the voter must produce a photo ID within six days of an election or sign an affidavit saying that they either cannot afford a photo ID or have a religious objection to being photographed.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Driver’s license
  • Department of Public Safety ID card
  • U.S. military ID
  • U.S. citizenship certificate
  • U.S. passport
  • Concealed handgun license

Utah (NP)
A driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required to register. All voters must provide a photo ID on Election Day OR two non-photo IDs. The voter may cast a provisional ballot as an alternative.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Utah Driver’s license or ID card issued by the state or federal government
  • Utah concealed weapons permit
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. military ID card
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs card
  • Tribal treat card
  • Tribal ID card

Non-Photo ID Requirements (two forms are required without photo ID):

  • Bear the voter’s name
  • Show that the voter lives in the precinct

Vermont
A driver’s license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of a social security number is required to register. First time voters must show a valid ID (photo not necessary) at the polls.

Virginia (NP)
When registering to vote a full social security number is required. A valid ID is required at the polls if not provided during registration. A voter may sign a personal identification affidavit as an alternative.
Acceptable ID:

  • Virginia driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Virginia voter registration card
  • Any ID card issued by Virginia or the federal government
  • Photographic employee ID

Washington, DC
If identification is not provided at time of registration, it is possible to provide it when voting for the first time. If identification cannot be verified then voters may cast a provisional ballot.

Washington (NP)
All voters must provide an ID (photo not necessary) at the polls. If an ID is not provided the voter may cast a provisional ballot.
Acceptable ID:

  • Photo ID, such as a driver’s license, state-issued ID, student ID, or tribal ID
  • Voter identification issued by a county elections officer
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document with the voter’s name and address on it

West Virginia
All registrants must send in a copy of a valid ID (photo not necessary) with their mail-in registration form or show an ID the first time they vote.

Wisconsin (SP)
Before February, 2012:
Registrations require a driver’s license number, state ID number, a social security number, or the last four digits of a social security number unless the registrant does not have any of the previous forms of ID.

By February, 2012:
A photo ID is required at the polls. If the photo ID does not provide proof of residence, another form of ID that does is also required. A provisional ballot may be filled as an alternative, but a proper form of ID must be shown by 4 p.m. on the Friday following the election. Poll workers will begin asking for photo ID immediately, but the new law does not go into effect until February, 2012.
Acceptable Photo ID:

  • Wisconsin driver’s license or non-driver ID
  • U.S. passport
  • Certificate of naturalization issued within two years before the election
  • Tribal ID card issued by a federally recognized Wisconsin Indian tribe
  • Student ID card with a signature, issue date, and an expiration date no later than two years after the election
  • The photo ID must be determined to provide proof of residence

Wyoming
Applicants must register to vote in person unless they have an exemption. When registering a valid ID is required, either one valid photo ID is required or two valid non photo IDs are required. Voters, including first time voters, are not required to show identification at the polls.

Source: The National Conference of State Legislatures

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