- Voting Requirements
Voting Requirements from the Secretary of State
Senate Bill 5, passed by the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, requires voters who possess an acceptable form of photo identification for voting listed below to present that identification in order to vote in person in all Texas elections. For voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid. Voters who do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification and cannot reasonably obtain one of the forms of acceptable photo identification listed below may present a supporting form of identification and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, noting the voter’s reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo identification, stating that the information contained in the declaration is true, that the voter is the same individual personally appearing at the polling place to sign the declaration, and that the voter faces a reasonable impediment to procuring an acceptable form of photo identification.
This requirement is effective immediately.
Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
- United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
- United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States Passport (book or card)
With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.
Election Identification Certificates are available from DPS driver license offices during regular business hours. Find mobile station locations here.
Here is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo ID and cannot reasonably obtain one:
- copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate;
- copy of or original current utility bill;
- copy of or original bank statement;
- copy of or original government check;
- copy of or original paycheck; or
- copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).
After presenting one of the forms of supporting ID listed above, the voter must execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.
Q. What if I forget to bring my photo identification with me when I vote in person? Will I be turned away?
A. If a voter has continued access to their acceptable form of photo ID, but, for example, forgets to bring their acceptable form of approved photo ID to the polling place and/or left it, for example, at home or in their car, the voter still possesses the acceptable photo ID and must use it to vote. Accordingly, if you possess, but did not bring to the polling place, one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo identification with you when you vote in person, you may cast a “provisional ballot” at the polling location instead of a regular ballot, or you may return to the polling place before the polls close on Election Day with your acceptable form of photo identification and vote a regular ballot at that time. In order to have the provisional ballot counted in the election, you will have to visit the county voter registrar’s office by the sixth calendar day after Election Day. At the county voter registrar’s office, you will have to show one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo identification listed above, or, if you qualify, submit a natural disaster temporary affidavit referenced above. If you present a proper form of photo identification or submit the natural disaster temporary affidavit, the provisional ballot will be counted.