Do I need an ID?

Although many states require voters to prove their identity, some use methods other than ID verification.

More than half the states require voters to show some kind of identification at the polls in order to cast their ballot. In other states, methods like signatures ensure that voters are who they say they are.


Each state has a slightly different rule for when and how you need to show ID in order to vote. Some states can require an ID, but don’t specify if it needs to have a photo on it.

Be sure to get familiar with the rules for your state well in advance so you have time to get the right ID documents you’ll need on Election Day.

Check the rules in your state


Heads up! If you’ve already successfully registered but it’s your first time voting, or it’s the first time you’re going to the polls after changing your registered address, you may be asked for ID and proof of address at your polling place.

Again, rules vary by state, so be sure to look up what to expect ahead of time.

Check out our Voting 101 hub here


Unless your state has specific ID requirements, you should not be turned away at the polls for not showing ID and you should never be turned away without being offered a provisional ballot.

Review additional laws in your state and inform yourself on your rights as a voter so you’re prepared with next steps if you are met with enforcement of incorrect procedure at your polling place.

Know your rights at the polls

Info from this page gathered from NCSL.org and USA.gov. For more information, including the latest updates during this COVID-affected election cycle, visit them directly. You can also call the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.

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