Wisconsin has some of the country’s strictest laws for voter identification.
Here’s what you need to know if you are voting.
What does the law require?
Voters will need to present a valid form of photo ID at their polling place to vote in person on Election Day. The following items are considered valid forms of ID:
- A Wisconsin driver’s license (even if driving privileges are suspended)
- An identification card issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation
- An identification card or driver’s license issued without a photo due to religious exemption
- A military ID card
- A valid U.S. passport
- An identification card from a federally recognized tribe in Wisconsin
- A photo identification card from a Wisconsin accredited university or college (must include date of issuance, signature of student and an expiration date within two years of issuance)
- A veteran’s photo identification card from the Veterans Health Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs
- A certificate of naturalization issued within two years of the election date
- A driving receipt from the Department of Transportation
- An identification card receipt from the Department of Transportation
- A temporary identification card receipt from the Department of Transportation
The address on these forms of identification do not have to be current. Voters should try to have current photos on their IDs, but as long as the photos look reasonably like them, they should be accepted.
What do I do if I don’t have one of these photo IDs?
If you find yourself without one of these identification forms on Election Day, you can still cast a provisional ballot that will be counted if you present a valid form of identification to the city clerk’s office by 4 p.m. on Nov. 6.
The Milwaukee City Clerk’s Office is located at 200 E Wells St., Room 205.
The simplest form of ID to get on short notice is a state-issued identification card, which can be obtained from the Division of Motor Vehicles. If you find yourself needing that identification, you should seek it out as soon as possible after trying to place your ballot.
To find your local DMV, click this link.
How do I get a state ID?
To get a state-issued ID, you need to present a valid proof of residence, a proof of citizenship or legal status, proof of name and date of birth and a proof of identity to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
As the Wisconsin Elections Commission states, most people will be fine with a birth certificate, utility bill and Social Security card. Original versions of these documents have to be provided, however.
Here is a full list of documents that might be acceptable:
Proof of Identity
- A valid WI or out-of-state driver license with your photograph (No temporary out of state driving receipts)
- Military discharge papers
- U.S. Government and Military Dependent ID Card.
- A valid WI or out-of-state ID card with your photograph.
- Certified copy of a Marriage Certificate or Judgment of Divorce
- Social Security card
- TSA Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card)
Proof of citizenship or legal status
- U.S. state or local government-issued certificate of birth
- Valid U.S. passport.
- U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (federal form N-560 or N-561).
- U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (federal form N-550 or N-570).
- DHS/Transportation Security Administration (TSA) transportation worker identification credential.
Proof of residency
- Employee photo identification card issued by your current employer, containing your employer’s name and address
- Paycheck or stub or earning statement with your name and Wisconsin address, and your employer’s name and address, issued within the last 90 days
- A utility bill for water, gas, electricity or landline telephone service issued within the last 90 days (Electronic copies acceptable)
- Cell phone bills (Electronic copies acceptable)
- An account statement from a Wisconsin bank/financial institution issued within the last 90 days. (Electronic copies acceptable)
- Certified school record or transcript that identifies you by name, shows your current address and is issued within the last 90 days for the most recent school period.
- Mortgage documents for a residential property located in Wisconsin.
- Community based/assisted living residential contracts.
- Your current valid homeowner, renter or motor vehicle insurance policy dated within one year of application.
- Department of Corrections documentation: Letters from probation/parole agents on letterhead issued within the last 90 days.
- Your college enrollment documentation or Form 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status with your current Wisconsin address.
- A photo identification card from a Wisconsin accredited university or college (must date of issuance, signature of student, and an expiration date within two years of issuance)
- Valid Wisconsin hunting or fishing license.
Proof of name and date of birth
- Certified birth certificate from Wisconsin
- Certified birth certificate from another state or territory of the United States, or a certificate of birth abroad issued by the U.S. Dept. of State (Wisconsin will not accept birth certificates from Puerto Rico)
- Current U.S. passport
- Valid foreign passport with federal I-551 or I-94, arrival and departure record.
- Valid Wisconsin driver license/DOT issued ID card, with your photograph and signature.
- Federal I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Card.
- Federal I-94 Arrival-Departure Record (Parole or Refugees Version), a reception and placement program assurance form plus a letter from sponsoring agency and MV3002.
- U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570)
- U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)
- Federal temporary resident card or employment authorization card (I-688, I-688B or I-766)
- Native American Identification Card issued in Wisconsin by a federally recognized tribe.
- Court order with court seal related to the adoption or divorce of the individual or to a name or gender change that includes the person’s current full legal name, date of birth and the person’s prior name
- Armed Forces of the U.S. ID Card; Common Access Card or DD Form 2.
- TSA Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card)
Are there exceptions to the law?
Voters in the military, that live permanently overseas or are classified as confidential electors do not need to present a photo ID to cast an absentee ballot. Indefinitely confined voters also do not need a photo ID to cast a ballot.
Indefinitely confined voters can apply for the status based on their own circumstance. Anyone who might have difficulty traveling outside of the home for an indefinite amount of time because of disability, age or infirmity can apply. This does not require permanent or total inability to travel outside the home.
To learn more about how to cast your ballot if you have disability, read our previous reporting.
There are also exemptions for religious reasons for those who wish not to be photographed, but these individuals will still need a state-issued ID.