Voter ID Guide
Voter ID: What You Need to Know
A new state law requires Pennsylvanians to present photo ID at the polls every time they vote. While the law was originally set to take effect during the November 2012 elections, a recent court decision will delay implementation of this new requirement until 2013. If you do not have a valid photo ID for the upcoming election, you will still be able to cast your ballot.
The vast majority of state residents already have an acceptable form of ID. Those who do not have an acceptable form of photo ID can receive one at no cost. The law guarantees that no voter will be turned away on Election Day. If you do not have photo ID in November, you will still be able to vote. If you do not have a valid photo ID in future elections, you can cast a provisional ballot and verify your eligibility to vote with the county board of elections within 6 days of the election by fax, mail, email or dropping off information in person.
The following information is designed to help voters learn more about the new law, especially for those who need help in acquiring a photo ID before the law goes into effect in 2013. If you or someone that you know has any trouble obtaining an acceptable form of identification, my staff is ready to assist you. Please call 717-397-1309 or click here to contact me.
What forms of ID are acceptable?
Valid forms of identification must include a name, photo and expiration date. Most people will use their driver's license or non-driver's license photo ID issued by PennDOT.
Other acceptable forms of identification include:
I do not have a photo ID. How can I get one?
State residents who do not already have an acceptable form of ID can receive a photo ID card free of charge at one of PennDOT's driver's license centers. Residents must complete an Application for an Initial Photo Identification Card and bring their Social Security card, as well three forms of acceptable proof of identification and proof of residency.
Acceptable forms of identification must include a birth certificate with a raised seal, certificate of U.S. citizenship or certificate of naturalization. Acceptable proof of residency can include tax records, W-2 forms, lease or mortgage agreements or current utility bills (gas, water, cable, etc.).
Residents must also complete an Oath/Affirmation Voter ID form to ensure the photo ID card is free.
Anyone who holds a Pennsylvania driver's license or non-driver photo ID that has expired since 1990 will not need proof of ID or residence to get a photo ID for voting. Individuals must only give their name to a PennDOT customer service representative and indicate they have an expired license. If your license expired prior to 1990, you should contact PennDOT's Customer Care Center at 1-800-932-4600 to verify that your information is still in the system.
I am unable to get a copy of my birth certificate. Can I still vote?
If you do not have the necessary information to receive a standard photo ID card, such as a birth certificate, you may be able to receive a special Voter ID card that can only be used for voting purposes. To receive this special ID card from the Department of State, individuals must provide two proofs of residence, such as a utility bill, tax records, or a mortgage or lease agreement, along with their date of birth and Social Security number. The new ID cards will be available beginning in late August.
Pennsylvania natives who do not have a birth certificate can certify their birth records without the need to purchase a duplicate birth certificate. Customer service representatives at PennDOT driver's license centers can verify the birth records of Pennsylvania natives with the Department of Health. The process usually takes about 10 days to complete.
What if I do not have a Social Security card?
District residents can visit the Social Security office at 1809 Olde Homestead Road, Suite 104 in Lancaster or 850 Borom Road in York for more information on receiving a Social Security card or to be assigned a SSN. More information is also available by calling the national toll-free hotline at 1-800-772-1213 or visiting www.ssa.gov.
Where can I get more information on Voter ID?
More information on the new Voter ID law is available at the Department of State's website at www.votespa.com or by calling the Department of State Voter ID Hotline at 1-877-VotesPA (1-877-868-3772). Additional information is also available by contacting your county voter registration office at 717-299-8293 (Lancaster County) or 717-771-9604 (York County).