What You Should Know About Tennesse's Voter Photo ID Requirement
NOTE: From November 2011 through March 2012, you can get free photo identification for voting the first Saturday of every month at two driver service centers in Shelby County at no charge. The service centers are located at 3200 East Shelby Drive and 6340 Sumer Avenue – both in Memphis. They are open on the first Saturday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- If you are voting with an absentee ballot, you do NOT need an ID
The new 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 65 or older who wish to vote absentee or those voting at licensed nursing homes.
- Only certain forms of photo identification will be accepted
Acceptable forms of photo ID include:
- Tennessee driver license with a photo (valid or expired);
- A driver license issued by another state (valid or expired);
- U.S. passport;
- Federal employee ID with photo;
- State employee ID with photo;
- U.S. military ID; or
- Gun permit card with a photo.
Student ID cards ARE NOT acceptable forms of identification.
- If you do not have a photo ID, you are entitled to one for free
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).
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.
- When obtaining an ID for voting, you do not have to wait in line
Inform the employee greeting customers at the Driver Service Center that you are there for a government-issued photo ID for voting purposes. You will be placed in an "express service" category and your application will be expedited.
- If your name has changed, you will need additional documents
If the name on your proof of citizenship does not match the name on your proof of residency, you are required to provide proof of name change. Acceptable forms of documentation for a name change include:
- Marriage License
- Divorce Decree
- Order of Name Change
- Numident document from the Social Security Administration
If you cannot provide any of these documents, ask to speak to the supervisor at the Driver Service Center. They can identify additional documents that can verify your change of name.