State by State Voter ID Laws
Voter ID Laws are laws in each state that may require a voter to show government issued photo identification at the polling places. All states must meet the minimum requirement set by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) which requires photo ID for those who register by mail and did not provide identification. However, some states have stricter requirements set by state law.
|Voter ID by the numbers|
In general, valid forms of photo ID often include:
- a valid driver's license
- military ID
- a state identification card
- United States passport
- student identification
If valid ID is not provided, most states issue a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are usually counted once a voter's eligibility is confirmed. Some states require that confirmation be provided within a particular time frame following the election. Make sure to check your state for specific details.
(last updated May 2012)
For the purposes of the overview map and chart below, we assessed each state's laws by categorizing them into two broad groups: whether the state does or does not require photo IDs on election day at polling locations.
Some states do require photo IDs in particular situations but not in general (first time voters, for example). On the tab called "Details by state" you'll find more information about upcoming changes in state laws, pending legislation and links to state documents that outline details about what is considered a valid form of identification.
Click on the tab above called "Details by state" for an overview of voter identification requirements, recently passed and pending laws, as well as links to state documents.
For a breakdown of what is scheduled to appear on each state's ballot, click on a state on the map below.
|State||Requirement||Brief summary||Link for specific details|
|Alabama||Non-photo||Each elector is required to provide identification. This includes photo and non-photo identification. In 2014, however, each elector will be required to provide a valid photo ID.||Link|
|Arizona||Photo||Every elector is required to show proof of identity at the polling place before receiving a ballot. The elector must announce his/her name, place of residence and present a photo ID.||Link|
|Arkansas||Non-photo||Electors must announce his/her name, address and confirm date of birth. Valid identification includes photo and non-photo identification.||Link|
|California||Non-photo||SB1016 (effective January 1, 2006) requires voters to provide their driver's license number or state identification number. If they do not have either, they may use the last four digits of their social security card. If they also do not have a social security card number, the state will assign a unique number which may be used for voting purposes.||Link|
|Colorado||Non-photo||The state requires voters to provide their driver's license number. If they do not have a driver's license number, they may use the last four digits of their social security card. If they also do not have a social security card number, the state will assign a unique number which may be used for voting purposes.||Link|
|Connecticut||Non-photo||First-time voters are required to present identification. Valid ID includes photo identification that features your name and address or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address.||Link|
|Delaware||Non-photo||Valid voter ID includes a photo ID, utility bill, paycheck or any other government document with your name and address on it.||Link|
|Florida||Photo||At the polls, valid picture identification with a signature is required. If photo identification does not contain a signature, voters will be asked for additional identification that does include a signature.||Link|
|Georgia||Photo||Each elector must present a valid ID that contains a photo of the elector. Valid IDs include a driver's license, state identification card, tribal identification card, United States passport, employee identification or military identification card.||Link|
|Hawaii||Photo||In order to vote, electors must present valid photo ID with a signature. Additionally, voters will be asked to sign a poll book to record that they voted at the polling place. Voter Registration Notice is NOT an acceptable form of identification.||Link|
|Idaho||Photo||Electors must present valid photo ID. The name on the ID must match the name on the voter registration list (abbreviations and nicknames are acceptable). A name change requires the voter to re-register. If a voter is unable to show an acceptable ID, the voter is given the option to sign the Personal Identification Affidavit. On the Affidavit, the voter swears to his/her identity under penalty of perjury, a felony under 34-1114, Idaho Code.||Link|
|Illinois||Non-photo||Before being permitted to vote, an ID with your name and address is required. The IDs are not required to feature a photograph of the elector.||Link|
|Indiana||Photo||Public Law 109-2005 requires Indiana residents to present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot at the polls on Election Day. Photo IDs must meet four criteria for voting purposes: display a photo; display your name (which should match voter registration record); display an expiration date and either be current or have expired sometime after the date of the last General Election; and be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government.||Link|
|Iowa||Non-photo||No photo ID is required to vote. However, photo IDs are required for election day registrants.||Link|
|Kansas||Photo||The Kansas Secure and Fair Elections Act (S.A.F.E.) was signed into law on April 18, 2011 by Gov. Sam Brownback. Starting January 1, 2012, Kansas voters are required to show photo ID when voting in person. When voting by mail, voters are required to have their signature verified and include a copy of a valid photo ID. Starting January 1, 2013, persons registering to vote for the first time must prove U.S. citizenship.||Link|
|Kentucky||Non-photo||Electors are required to produce identification, however the identification does not need to feature a photograph. Election officers can confirm identity either by personal acquaintance or via a document.||Link|
|Louisiana||Photo||Electors must present one of the following: a driver's license, a Louisiana special ID, or other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature. If a photo ID is not presented, a utility bill, payroll check or other government document that includes your name and address can be presented. However, such voters would also have to sign an affidavit.||Link|
|Maine||Non-photo||According to Maine's "Voter Rights," registered voters in Maine are not required to show ID to get a ballot. 21-A MRSA §§111 and 671.||Link|
|Maryland||Non-photo||In general, most voters meet the necessary HAVA requirements during registration. Identification at the polls is usually only requested for voters that do not have a driver's license, state ID card, or social security card and who submitted their voter registration applications by mail after January 1, 2006; and those voters who registered to vote by mail between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2005 and have not yet voted for the first time.||Link|
|Massachusetts||Non-photo||Electors must present valid identification which must include the voter's name and address.||Link|
|Michigan||Photo||Each voter must show a photo ID. Your photo ID does not need to have your address on it. Voters without photo ID may sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of photo identification.||Link|
|Mississippi||Photo (pending)|| First time voters or unverified registrants are required to show identification. Acceptable forms of ID include a copy of a current and valid photo ID, a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
Note: Mississippi's 2011 voter ID amendment requires an implementing statute and faces USDOJ pre-clearance, before it can take effect.
|Missouri||Non-photo||Pursuant to Section 115.427, RSMO Supp. 2006, before receiving a ballot, voters are required to establish their identify and eligibility to vote. Valid forms of ID include: federal or state issued IDs, a copy of a current utility bill or bank statement, or a driver's license or state identification card issued by another state. If a voter does not possess valid identification, they may still cast a ballot if two supervising election judges (one from each major political party) verify that they know the elector.||Link|
|Montana||Non-photo||Electors are required to present identification prior to receiving a ballot. If you do not have a photo ID, you can provide a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, voter confirmation notice, government check or other government document that shows your name and current address.||Link|
|Nebraska||Non-photo||Voters do not need to present identification in order to vote. Voters are asked for their ID if they are first time Nebraska registrants who mailed in their registration application and did not provide an ID at that time.||Link|
|Nevada||Non-photo||NRS 293.277. If a person's name appears in the election board register the person is entitled to vote. Electors must sign their name in the election board register at the polling place. The signature must be compared with the signature on a person's original application to vote or another form of identification. Other forms of identification include: a driver's license, a state identification card, military identification or another government issued ID.||Link|
|New Jersey||Non-photo||If identification was not provided at the time of registering to vote or if the identification information could not be verified, a voter must show identification at the polling place. Identification includes: any current and valid photo ID or bank statement, car registration, government check or document, etc.||Link|
|New Mexico||Non-photo||Voters are asked for their ID if they are first time New Mexico voters who mailed in their registration application and did not provide verification of their identification.||Link|
|North Carolina||Non-photo||Voters are asked for their ID if they are first time voters who mailed in their registration application and did not provide verification of their identification.||Link|
|North Dakota||Non-photo||Electors must present identification before voting. Acceptable forms of identification must include the voter's address. If a valid form of identification cannot be produced, voters can still vote if either an election poll worker can vouch for their identity and residence; or if they complete a voter's affidavit.||Link|
|Ohio||Non-photo||On election day at the polling place, Ohio law requires that every voter announce his or her full name and current address. Additionally, voters must provide proof of their identity. A photo ID is not required.||Link|
|Oklahoma||Photo||Oklahoma State Question 746, approved in 2010, requires every voter to show proof of identity before receiving a ballot. Valid forms of identification are required to contain the name of the voter, a photograph and an expiration date that is after the date of the election.||Link|
|Oregon||Non-photo||Vote by mail. If you do not provide valid identification during registration, you will not be eligible to vote for Federal races. You will, however, still be eligible to vote for state and local contests.||Link|
|Pennsylvania||Photo||All voters are required to show a photo ID before voting at a polling place. Valid photo IDs must include a current expiration date. If you do not have a valid photo ID and are unable to obtain a free photo ID from the state driver's license center, then you may cast a provisional ballot. In order for a provisional ballot to count, you must provide a photo ID or affirmation to your county elections office within 6 days.||Link|
|Rhode Island||Non-photo||Identification is required at the polls. If a voter is unable to present photo ID they can use certain non-photo IDs. The ID must include your name and address. Additionally, the identification must be dated since November 2, 2010, unless the document is of permanent nature (such as a birth certificate or social security card). In such cases, only a name is required to appear on the identification.||Link|
|South Carolina||Non-photo (pending)|| Voters are required to show any one of three forms of identification in order to vote: voter registration card, driver’s license or picture identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Note: Pre-clearance for South Carolina's new photo ID law was denied on December 23, 2011. The state has applied for reconsideration.
|South Dakota||Photo||All first time voters must show proof of identification. Approved forms of photo identification include: South Dakota driver’s license or nondriver ID card, U.S. government photo ID, U.S. Armed Forces ID, student photo ID from a South Dakota high school or South Dakota accredited institution of higher education or Tribal photo ID. If you do not have a photo ID, you can sign a personal identification affidavit.||Link|
|Tennessee||Photo||At polling places, voters must show government-issued photo identification. Valid forms of ID do not include student ID cards from state universities.||Link|
|Texas||Non-photo (pending)|| Following registration to vote, voters will receive a voter registration certificate. The certificate should be presented to an election officer at the polling place. Additionally, all voters who registered to vote in Texas must provide a Texas driver's license number, personal identification number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety or the last four digits of your social security number.
Note: Texas' new photo ID law takes effect after preclearance by the USDOJ. Pre-clearance was denied on March 13, 2012. The state is expected to apply for reconsideration.
|Utah||Non-photo||At the polling place, voters can either present a form of identification that bears the name and photograph of the voter or two forms of identification that bear the name of the voter and provide evidence of the voter’s residence.||Link|
|Vermont||Non-photo||Only first time voters who registered by mail are required to show identification in order to vote.||Link|
|Virginia||Non-photo|| For persons who registered to vote in Virginia by mail, federal law requires them to show identification when voting for the first time in a federal election if they did not send a copy of one of these IDs with their voter registration applications. Virginia law requires all other voters to provide identification at the polls, or sign an Affirmation of Identity under felony penalty, in order to vote at the polls.
Note: On May 20, 2012 Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation that requires someone without identification to vote provisionally. This would eliminate the Affirmation of Identity. According to reports, the U.S. Justice Department must determine whether Virginia's new law is constitutional.
|Washington||Non-photo||Vote by mail.||Link|
|Wisconsin||Photo (pending)|| Photo ID is not currently required in Wisconsin.
Note: On March 6 and March 12, 2012, two separate judges issued injunctions preventing the Government Accountability Board from enforcing photo ID requirements in 2011 Act 23. The Wisconsin Department of Justice appealed those injunctions and the appeals have been certified to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which on April 16 sent them back to the respective Courts of Appeals.
|Wyoming||Non-photo||Photo and non-photo identification is acceptable in Wyoming. Identification should include the voter's name and address. Valid ID includes: photo IDs, United States passport, identification card from a state university, social security card, current utility bill, current bank statement, etc.||Link|
The list below features news articles related to voter identification. If you would like to submit an article, please e-mail Links@ballotpedia.org or post directly.
- Governing,"Minnesota Supreme Court to Rule on Voter ID Ballot Question," June 8, 2012
- Governing,"Another REAL ID Deadline Bites the Dust," June 2012
- Associated Press,"N.H. voter ID bill momentum picking up with negotiations," May 30, 2012
- Minnesota Public Radio,"Voter ID opponents file lawsuit," May 30, 2012
- American Statesman,"Abbott drops opposition to depositions in voter ID case," May 22, 2012
- WINA,"Virginia Governor Signs Voter ID Legislation," May 20, 2012
- The Virginian-Pilot,"Governor signs bill to send ID cards to registered voters," May 19, 2012
- The Post & Courier,"Jury is out on states’ voter ID laws," May 2, 2012
- Pew Center on the States,"Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient: Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade," 2012
- Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002
- State Poll Opening and Closing Times
- State Blue Books
- Voter guides
- Election results