How do I get a free state ID card?



To get a free ID card, you will need to take a few documents to your Division of Motor Vehicles office

There's a long list of documents you can use below, but most people will be fine with a certified birth certificate, a Social Security card and a utility bill or cell phone bill.  You'll notice that some records, like a certified birth certificate, satisfy more than one category.

Just be sure to bring originals — photocopies don’t work — and check the box that says “ID for Free” on your application. Once it’s complete, you’ll get a receipt that you can use at the polls until your state ID arrives by mail.

For more information about getting a free state ID card, visit the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles website.

If you do not have a birth certificate or other documents, you can still obtain a document for voting that is valid for 60 days after one visit to the DMV using its petition process, known as IDPP. Download a one-page palm card explaining IDPP.


More information from the Wisconsin DMV is available here.  

The documents required by the DMV to get a state ID card fall into four categories:

  • A valid WI or out-of-state driver license (not a Canadian driver license) with your photograph. Note: Temporary out-of-state driving receipts are not acceptable.
  • Military discharge papers, including Federal DD-214.
  • U.S. Government and Military Dependent ID Card.
  • A valid WI or out-of-state ID card (not a Canadian ID card) with your photograph.
  • Certified copy of a Marriage Certificate or Judgment of Divorce.
  • Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration.
  • If you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian can show a valid Wisconsin driver license or ID card and confirm your identity.
  • TSA Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card).
  • U.S. state or local government-issued certificate of birth (certified copy - birth registration and hospital certificates are not acceptable).
  • Valid U.S. passport.
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (federal form N-560 or N-561).
  • U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (federal form N-550 or N-570).
  • DHS/Transportation Security Administration (TSA) transportation worker identification credential.
  • Employee photo identification card issued by your current employer, containing your employer's name and address. Your employer's telephone number may be required for verification.
  • Pay check or stub or earning statement with your name and Wisconsin address, and your employer's name and address, issued within the last 90 days. Your employer's telephone number may be required for verification.
  • A utility bill for water, gas, electricity or landline telephone service issued within the last 90 days. Cable or similar bundles of services that include landline telephone service is included in this category. Electronic copies are acceptable.
  • Cell phone bills. Electronic copies are acceptable.
  • An account statement from a Wisconsin bank/financial institution issued within the last 90 days. This includes savings, checking or money market accounts held in banks or credit unions. Electronic copies are acceptable.
  • Certified school record or transcript that identifies you by name, shows your current address and is issued within the last 90 days for the most recent school period.
  • Mortgage documents for a residential property located in Wisconsin.
  • Community based/assisted living residential contracts.
  • Your current valid homeowner, renter or motor vehicle insurance policy dated within one year of application.
  • Government-issued correspondence or product issued within the last 90 days from a federal, state, county or city agency.
  • Department of Corrections documentation: Letters from probation/parole agents on letterhead issued within the last 90 days.
  • Your college enrollment documentation or Form 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status with your current Wisconsin address.
  • A photo identification card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college that contains the following: date of issuance, signature of student, and an expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance. The university or college ID must be accompanied by a separate document that proves student’s current address (housing contract or lease).
  • Valid Wisconsin hunting or fishing license.

Proof of Residence requirements for voter registration are different from requirements to get a state ID card.  Click here for more information about Proof of Residence for voter registration.

  • Certified birth certificate from Wisconsin
  • Certified birth certificate from another State or Territory of the United States, or a certificate of birth abroad issued by the U.S. Dept. of State (federal forms FS-545 or DS-1350). In line with Puerto Rico's law, as of October 31, 2010, Wisconsin will not accept any Puerto Rican birth certificate certified before July 1, 2010. More information at
  • Current (non-expired) U.S. passport.
  • Valid foreign passport with federal I-551 or I-94, arrival and departure record.
  • Valid Wisconsin driver license/DOT issued ID card, with your photograph and signature.
  • Federal I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Card.
  • Federal I-94 Arrival-Departure Record (Parole or Refugees Version), a reception and placement program assurance form plus a letter from sponsoring agency and MV3002.
  • U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570).
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561).
  • Federal temporary resident card or employment authorization card (I-688, I-688B or I-766).
  • Native American Identification Card issued in Wisconsin by a federally recognized tribe.
  • Court order with court seal related to the adoption or divorce of the individual or to a name or gender change that includes the person's current full legal name, date of birth and the person's prior name. This does not include an abstract of criminal or civil conviction.
  • Armed Forces of the U.S. ID Card; Common Access Card or DD Form 2.
  • TSA Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card).