Voter ID Law

Can you pass this quiz about the voter ID law?

All voters must show a national or Tennessee state ID with the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day

What IDs are allowed?

Any of these IDs may be used, even if expired:

  • Tennessee driver license with your photo
  • United States Passport
  • Photo ID from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
  • Photo ID from the federal or Tennessee state government
  • United States Military photo ID
  • Tennessee handgun carry permit with your photo

What IDs are not allowed?

College student IDs and photo IDs not issued by the national or Tennessee state government are NOT acceptable. This includes county or city-issued photo IDs, such as library cards, and photo IDs issued by other states.

Who is exempt?

  • Voters who vote absentee by mail (view requirements here)
  • Voters who are hospitalized
  • Voters with a religious problem with being photographed
  • Voters who are in poverty and cannot obtain a photo ID without paying a fee

Is an expired photo ID allowed?

Yes, as long as it was issued by the federal or Tennessee state government and has the name and photograph of the voter.

What if I registered by mail and am voting in my first election?

The law says that first time voters who register by mail must show one of these things:

  • A current photo identification with voter’s name and photo OR
  • If the photo identification is expired, the voter must also present one of these things: a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the voter’s name and address.

What if I don’t have a photo ID?

You can get a free photo ID to vote from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security at any participating driver service center across the state.  You may use the “express service” line at the driver service center to get your photo ID to decrease wait times.  Visit the Department of Safety and Homeland Security website for more information.

What will I need to get a free photo ID from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security?

You will need:

  • Proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate), and
  • Two proofs of Tennessee residency (such as a a utility bill, vehicle registration or title, or bank statement).
  • If your name is different from the one on your primary ID, proof of the changed name (such as a certified marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc.)
  • If you do not have proof of Tennessee residency in your own name, like if you are a minor or full-time student, you can prove residency for your Tennessee photo ID using this AFFIDAVIT OF TENNESSEE RESIDENCY form along with one residency proof in a parent’s name.

I can’t afford a copy of my birth certificate, so I can’t get a photo ID.  Can I still vote?

Yes.  If you cannot afford a copy of the documents you need to obtain a free photo ID, you may sign a form stating under oath that you are in poverty and have been unable to get an acceptable photo ID for voting without paying a fee.