What to Know About Photo ID and Voting

Wisconsin’s photo ID law and other election laws have been the subject of multiple court rulings in the past six weeks. Although the appeals will continue in the courts, further changes are unlikely before the Nov. 8 election. Here is where things stand.



  • Most Wisconsin voters will have to display an acceptable photo ID in order to receive a regular ballot and have it counted. There are limited exceptions.
  • There is no special ID just for voting. Acceptable forms of ID include a Wisconsin Driver License or identification card issued by the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), U.S. passport, veterans ID card, tribal ID card, U.S. military photo ID, certificate of naturalization or a college ID with proof of enrollment.
  • If you don’t have an acceptable ID, you can obtain one for free from the DMV. Note: you cannot have a Wisconsin ID in addition to an ID or driver’s license issued by another state.

To obtain an ID for voting, go to the DMV and bring your birth certificate and Social Security card, if possible. If not, bring whatever you have, and the DMV will issue a receipt you can use for voting in November.

University and college students who wish to use their student ID for voting no longer have to worry about the expiration date on the card. Check with your college to find out if your standard student ID will be acceptable (most are not) or if you have to request one for voting. You will also have to show proof of current enrollment.



You must have lived at your Wisconsin address for 10 days (down from 28) before the election in order to vote. If you move within the state less than 10 days before the election, you must vote at the polling place from your previous address. You may do so in person or by absentee ballot. Contact the municipal clerk from your previous address to request an absentee ballot.

Municipal clerks are no longer restricted in the hours and days on which they may offer early voting. Contact your municipal clerk to find out when and where you can cast an in-person absentee ballot.


– from the Wisconsin League of Woman Voters

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