Tennessee Voter Identification Requirements

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Nitegator

Beginning January 1, 2012, all voters must present an ID containing the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day.

Any of the following IDs may be used, even if expired:
• Tennessee driver license with your photo
• United States Passport
• Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security photo ID
• Photo ID issued by the federal or state government, such as an employee ID from the U.S. Department of Energy with your photo
• United States Military photo ID, including a Veteran Identification Card
• State-issued handgun carry permit card with your photo

What forms of photo ID are NOT acceptable?
• College student photo IDs
• Photo IDs not issued by the federal or state government, such as your discount club or bank card with your photo

Memphis Library photo card cannot be used to vote.

The only acceptable photo ID is one issued by the state or the federal government. The ID can even be from another state or expired but must be from the state or federal government.

* If you are a registered voter and do not have a government-issued photo ID, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security will provide you with a photo ID at no charge. Citizens may obtain these IDs at 48 of the Driver Service Centers across the state. (The only center where IDs are not available is the Driver License Reinstatement Center on Murfreesboro Road in Davidson County.)
* To minimize wait times, groups or organizations planning to bring several people to the centers for photo IDs are encouraged to make appointments by calling Linda Cone at 731-225-0924 or Wanda Adams at 615-251-5309.
* Under the new voter ID law, in order to get a photo ID for voting purposes, voters must show the following documentation to a Driver Service Center examiner:
o Proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate); and
o Two proofs of Tennessee residency (such as a copy of a utility bill, vehicle registration/title, or bank statement).
* It is very important to bring these documents to the Driver Service Center. Under the law, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security cannot issue a photo ID without each of these required items. (If you do not have a birth certificate, ask to speak to a Driver Service Center manager who will work with you to identify possible other documentation to prove citizenship).
* For a photo ID, each applicant must also sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury stating that he or she does not have a valid government-issued photo ID for voting purposes. To expedite this transaction, voters may print the affidavit here and sign it before visiting the Driver Service Center. Copies of this affidavit are also available at county election commissions across the state.

Who is exempt?
• Voters who vote absentee by mail (view requirements at http://www.tn.gov/sos/election/bymail.htm)
• Voters who are residents of a licensed nursing home or assisted living center and who vote at the facility
• Voters who are hospitalized
• Voters with a religious objection to being photographed
• Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee

What if I do not bring a photo ID to the polling place?
• If you do not bring a photo ID, you will vote a provisional ballot.
• You will then have until two (2) business days after Election Day to return to the election commission office to show a valid photo ID.

What if I do not have a photo ID?
• You may obtain a free photo ID to vote from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security at a driver service center. You will need proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate), two proofs of Tennessee residency (such as a voter registration card, utility bill, vehicle registration/title, or bank statement), and if your name differs from that on your primary ID, proof of the changed name (such as certified marriage certificate, divorce decree, certified court order, etc.).
• If you do not have a photo on your driver’s license and no other form of valid photo ID, you may visit a driver service center to have your photo added to your license for free upon request.
• You may use the “express service” line at the driver service center to obtain your photo ID to minimize wait times.
• NOTE: If you already have a valid government-issued photo ID, the Department of Safety will not issue a free photo ID to you.
• Visit http://www.tn.gov/safety/photoids.shtml for more information.

Where can I find out more information?
• Call or visit your county election commission, or
• Visit our website at http://www.GoVoteTN.com

Please notify your county election commission if your address changes.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett
Division of Elections
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 9th Floor • Nashville, TN 37243
Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections
Phone: 1-877-850-4959

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