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New Voter Identification Requirements for Texas Voters

No Photo ID Required when Voting by Mail

*see below for exceptions

For More Information

New Voter ID Requirements for Texas Voters

Senate Bill 5, passed by the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, requires voters who possess an acceptable form of photo identification for voting listed below to present that identification in order to vote in person in all Texas elections.

For voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

Voters who do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification and cannot reasonably obtain one of the forms of acceptable photo identification listed below may present a supporting form of identification and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter's reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo identification, stating that the information contained in the declaration is true, that the voter is the same individual personally appearing at the polling place to sign the declaration, and that the voter faces a reasonable impediment to procuring an acceptable form of photo identification.

Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:

  • Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
  • Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
  • United States Military Identification Card containing the person's photograph
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person's photograph
  • United States Passport (book or card)

With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo ID and cannot reasonably obtain one:

  • copy or original of a government document that shows the voter's name and an address, including the voter's voter registration certificate;
  • copy of or original current utility bill;
  • copy of or original bank statement;
  • copy of or original government check;
  • copy of or original paycheck; or
  • copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter's identity (which may include a foreign birth document).

After presenting one of the forms of supporting ID listed above, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

Free Election Identification Certificates Available

Individuals without an approved form of photo ID may apply for an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) at any Texas Driver License office. There is no charge for this certificate. EICs for persons age 70 and older do not expire; all other EICs expire every six years. To receive this voter ID card, applicants must provide specific documents that prove their identity and citizenship. For more information call DPS at 512-424-2600 or visit their website at www.txdps.state.tx.us

Name on Photo ID Must Match Name on the Voter Registration List

Texas law requires poll workers to review the name on each voter's photo ID to see if it exactly matches the list of registered voters. If the names are not exact, but are "substantially similar," that person will be able to vote after initialing the sign-in sheet to affirm that he or she is the same person appearing on the voter registration list.

Voting

When a voter arrives at a polling location, the voter will be asked to present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID that is current or, for voters aged 18-69, expired no more than four years.

Voters aged 70 or older may present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID that is expired for any length of time that is otherwise valid.

If a voter does not possess one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID and cannot reasonably obtain one, the voter may present a supporting form of ID and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter's reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo identification, stating that the information contained in the declaration is true, that the voter is the same individual personally appearing at the polling place to sign the declaration, and that the voter faces a reasonable impediment to procuring an acceptable form of photo identification.

Provisional Ballots for Those Without ID at Polls

A voter who does not have the required form of ID or does not have a "substantially similar" name match will be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. The voter must present proper identification to the County Voter Registrar within six calendar days of the election or the voter's ballot will be rejected.

If a voter possesses an acceptable form of photo ID but does not have it at the polling place, the voter will still be permitted to vote provisionally. The voter will have six (6) days to present an acceptable form of photo identification to the county voter registrar, or fill out the natural disaster affidavit referenced in the Exemption/Exceptions section below, or the voter's ballot will be rejected. Alternatively, a voter who possesses an acceptable form of photo ID but does not have it at the polling place may choose to leave the polling place and return before the close of the polls on election day with said acceptable form of photo ID to, if the voter would otherwise qualify, vote a regular ballot at that time.

Exemptions:

Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption to presenting an acceptable photo identification or following the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure in the county. The application must contain written documentation from either the U.S. Social Security Administration evidencing the applicant's disability, or from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs evidencing a disability rating of at least 50 percent. The applicant must also state that he/she does not have a form of identification prescribed by Section 63.0101 of the Texas Election Code. Those who obtain a disability exemption will be allowed to vote upon display of their voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption, and will not need to execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. Please contact your county voter registrar for more details.

Voters who have a consistent religious objection to being photographed or who do not present an acceptable form of photo identification listed above or follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure because of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may vote a provisional ballot, appear at the voter registrar's office within six (6) calendar days after election day, and sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection or natural disaster, in order for the voter's ballot to be counted. Please contact Travis County voter registrar at 512-854-9473 for more details.




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