Voting with ID infographic

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View the list of acceptable IDs. 

Wisconsin law now requires voters to present a photo ID for their vote to be counted.

Your photo ID does not need to show a current address. Election officials will only be looking at the type of ID presented, the name and photograph on the ID, and the expiration date of the ID.

Whether your Wisconsin ID or Wisconsin driver license complies with the federal Real ID Act of 2005 does not matter when it comes to voting. Wisconsin ID cards that do not comply with Real ID requirements are acceptable forms of voter ID.

Our goal is for each eligible voter to be able to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted.

Acceptable Forms of Photo ID

  • Wisconsin driver license*
  • WI DOT-issued photo ID card*
  • U.S. passport*
  • Military ID card*
  • Certificate of naturalization issued within last 2 years
  • Unexpired Wisconsin driver license or state ID receipt
  • ID card issued by a Native American Tribe, regardless of expiration
  • ID issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college—must contain issuance date, student signature, and expiration date within 2 years of issuance.  If the ID is expired, proof of current enrollment is also required.
  • Unexpired Veterans Affairs ID card

*The expiration date must be after the date of the last November election.

Obtaining a Photo ID

If you are eligible to vote but do not have a Wisconsin license or ID card, you may obtain a free ID for voting. If you are missing any part of the documentation, you may petition the DMV to obtain an ID without that documentation.

For the shortest lines, visit the DMV mid-morning or mid-afternoon, and try to avoid Mondays, Fridays, and the beginning and end of each month. ID customers are given priority service at the DMV. Everyone who is in the office at closing time will be served.

The Dane County Voter ID Coalition provides free assistance with obtaining transportation to the DMV and working through the DMV application process. This is a joint effort of the League of Women Voters of Dane County and the Dane County NAACP. For assistance, call (608) 285-2141.

Vote Absentee

Absentee voters casting a ballot in person in the City Clerk’s Office or a satellite voting location must present a photo ID just as they would if they were voting at the polls.

Absentee requests for ballots sent by mail must be accompanied by a photocopy or picture of an acceptable form of voter ID. Once you have sent the Clerk’s Office a photocopy of your ID, you will not need to send copies with future requests unless you change your voter registration. Please read your absentee ballot instruction letter very carefully. We want your vote to count!

Hospitalized voters may appoint an agent to pick up their ballot from the City Clerk’s Office. The agent needs to bring the hospitalized voter’s photo ID to the Clerk’s Office.

Provisional Ballots

Voters unable to provide an acceptable form of photo ID on Election Day may cast a provisional ballot.

Provisional ballots are not counted unless the voter provides the City Clerk’s Office with an acceptable photo ID by 4 p.m. the Friday after the election. You may bring your ID to any Madison Public Library for free assistance in sending a copy of your ID to the Clerk's Office.

Senior Citizens

Wisconsin residents who are U.S. citizens age 65 and over qualify for a Wisconsin ID card from the DMV that will never expire. This ID is acceptable for voting purposes. The non-expiring ID card doesn’t comply with “Real ID” standards required for air travel. A licensed driver cannot obtain a non-expiring ID card without surrendering their driver license and driving privileges.

Senior citizens confined to their homes, or living in nursing homes and care facilities are exempted from photo ID laws. Read about these exemptions and others.