New Law Requires Photo ID To Vote

To vote in the November 2012 election, polling places will require photo identification.


In order to cast a vote in the November 2012 general election, all voters are required to show a photo ID at the polling place.

Acceptable photo IDs include identification issued by the federal government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a driver's license or non-driver's license photo ID), a valid U.S. passport that has not expired, a U.S. military ID, an employee photo ID issued by the federal, state, county or municipal government, photo IDs from an accredited public or private Pennsylvania college or university, or an ID card issued by a state care facility.

Most photo IDs must be current and have an expiration date, with the exception of a Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license. Those forms of identification are valid for voting purposes 12 months past the expiration date, according to the new voter ID law.

If you do not have one of these forms of identification, you may be entitled to get one free of charge at a PennDOT Driver License Center. The $13.50 fee to get a photo identification card will be waived for individuals completing the Oath/Affirmation Voter ID form. Find the center nearest you by searching by zipcode on PennDOT's website or call the Department of State's Voter ID Hotline at 1-877-868-3772.

To obtain a photo ID from the state, you will need to visit the license center in person, fill out form DL-54A, and have a Social Security Card and one of the following forms of identification:

  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Valid U.S. Passport
  • Birth Certificate with a raised seal

You will also need two proofs of residency, such as a lease agreement, current utility bills, a mortgage document, W-2 form or tax records.

However, no one legally entitled to vote will be denied the right to vote. If you do not have a photo ID or cannot obtain one without payment, you can cast a provisional ballot, and will have six days to provide a photo ID or an affirmation to your county elections office to have the ballot count. If you have a religious objection to being photographed, you can still vote if you present a valid without-photo driver's license or a valid without-photo ID card issued by PennDOT.

If you plan on voting by absentee ballot in the general election instead of at a polling place, you will need to provide a drivers license number, the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, or a copy of an accepted photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot.

If you are voting for the first time in November, visit VotesPA for more tips and information on the voting process and what to expect when visiting the polls.

AmericanEagle March 24, 2012 at 01:14 PM
This law has nothing to do with people paying people to vote as some supporters will tell you - that's Republican folklore. It will actually hurt the republicans, which is a good thing for the dems. There are thousands of senior citizens- remember them - the great generation- WWII- and many will not be able to physically get to the DMV to get their photo taken. They live in assisted living facilities and not all have photo id available. The Judge in their polling place, which in many cases is in their building- can not let them vote even though they have voted for years with him. This will hit seniors hard and they vote Republican more than Dem. State dept website: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/how_to_vote/13515/voting_by_absentee_ballot/585300 Does this mean you still have to take a photo id to voter services within 6 days for your vote to count if you don't have one? People in nursing home beds don't always have them. Unclear on website.


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