Voter Photo ID
Voter ID Law
Department of Safety and Homeland Security Prepared to Help Voters Get Photo IDs
Starting in 2012, registered voters in Tennessee must show government-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot at the polls.
Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Tennessee drivers license with your photo
- United States Passport
- Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
- Photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government
- United States Military photo ID
- Tennessee handgun carry permit with your photo
- Student ID cards from state universities are NOT acceptable.
The law requiring a government-issued photo ID to vote applies only to those voting at polling places. It does not apply to those casting absentee ballots under state law, including those age 60 or older who wish to vote absentee or those voting at licensed nursing homes.
For more information on voter ID requirements in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Secretary of State's Office.
For Citizens Without Government-Issued Photo IDs
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. Photo IDs are not available at the West Knoxville Reinstatement Center in Knox County.
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:
- Proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate); and
- 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.
For Citizens With Non-Photo Driver Licenses
Any citizen who currently holds a non-photo Tennessee driver license may elect to simply get a photo driver license rather than a separate photo ID.
Registered voters may convert a non-photo driver license to a photo driver license at Driver Service Centers.
A citizen with a non-photo driver license must 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. There will be no fee for this service.
To help reduce the wait time for voters who need government-issued photo IDs, these citizens will be placed in an "express service" category when entering a Driver Service Center. Please tell the employee greeting customers that you are at the center for a government-issued photo ID for voting purposes.