Photo ID Requirements

On March 23, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of an earlier Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the photo ID provisions of 2011 Wisconsin Act 23. A photo ID is now required to receive a ballot in all special and regular elections.

Voter Photo ID Requirements

What do voters need to know about Photo ID in Wisconsin?

While there is not a separate "Voter ID" card there are many other forms of Photo ID, which you may already have, that can be used to vote. If you already have a Wisconsin driver license, you do not need (and cannot get), a WI state ID card simply in order to vote. Anyone with a valid Wisconsin driver license or Wisconsin state ID card, or any of the documents listed below, already has the photo ID they need for voting purposes

Acceptable Photo IDs

What can I use as Photo ID to vote?

The following photo IDs are acceptable for voting purposes, and can be unexpired or expired after the date of the most recent general election (currently the November 4, 2014 General Election):

  • A Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended
  • A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card
  • Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service
  • A U.S. passport book or card

The following photo IDs are also acceptable for voting purposes, but must be unexpired:

  • A certificate of naturalization that was issued not earlier than two years before the date of an election at which it is presented
  • A driver license receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
  • An identification card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days)
  • An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin
  • A photo identification card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college that contains the following:

    • Date of Issuance
    • Signature of Student
    • Expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance
    • The university or college ID must be accompanied by a separate document that proves enrollment

What needs to be on my Photo ID?

The following things must be included on any of the Photo IDs listed above:

  • Elector's Photograph

The photograph must reasonably resemble the elector.

  • Elector's Name
    • The elector's name must conform to the name on their voter registration. Conform does not mean that the name must be identical to the name on the voter registration (Example: Richard: Rich, Robert: Bob, Jessica: Jessi, Patricia: Pat).
  • An Expiration Date within the deadlines described above

An Acceptable Photo ID does not have to include a current address.

Are there any Photo IDs I cannot use to vote? 

Yes. You can not use these IDs to vote:

  • Military Veteran Affairs IDs
  • State or Federal government employee IDs
  • An out-of-state driver license or identification card
  • Employment IDs
  • Membership or Organization IDs
  • Certificates of Citizenship

Are there any Photo IDs that can be used for voting that do not have a photo on them?

Yes. The following documents, which do not contain a photo, can be used for voting purposes :

  • A citation or notice of intent to revoke or suspend a driver license, which is dated within 60 days of the date of the election. If your driver license has been taken away by law enforcement or a court, you may present written documentation of that fact in order to vote without your photo ID.
  • A Wisconsin DOT Temporary Driving or Identification Receipt, issued when the DMV is experiencing equipment and printing difficulties, valid for 60 days from issuance.
  • A Wisconsin DOT driver license or identification card without a photo, issued to those electors with a religious objection to being photographed.

Is there anyone who does not need to show Photo ID?

Yes. The following electors do not need to show a Photo ID:

  • Confidential electors are always exempt from Photo ID requirements. Confidential electors have applied for this status with their municipal clerk, and have presented a court order, a letter from law enforcement, a letter from the staff of a domestic abuse shelter, or the staff of an agency assisting victims of domestic abuse.
  • Military and Overseas voters are not required to present Photo ID when they vote by absentee ballot, but if they vote in-person, they must present Photo ID.
  • Indefinitely confined voters and voters in special care facilities can provide a witness signature on their absentee ballot certificate envelope in substitute for showing Photo ID.