Free Photo ID for Voting Now Available with One Trip to DMV

MADISON, WI – Any voter who needs a photo ID to vote can now get it with one visit to the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles, the Elections Commission announced.

“Most voters already have a photo ID to vote, like a driver license or state ID card,” said Michael Haas, Wisconsin’s chief elections official. “However, if you do not have a photo ID for voting, you can get one at the DMV in one trip if you bring two documents – one to prove your identity and one to prove where you live.”

The ID Petition Process (IDPP) is used by the DMV to help people who are unable to provide certain documents necessary to get a regular state ID card for voting purposes.  The DMV is now issuing special receipts that include the person’s photograph. Such receipts will be sent to voters automatically within six business days of the voters coming into the DMV and applying. These receipts can be used immediately as photo ID for voting while the DMV reviews the person’s application for a free state ID card.

“A DMV receipt works for voting just like a driver license, state ID card, passport, military ID, veteran’s ID or tribal ID,” Haas said.

There are many different documents a person can use to prove identity and residency to receive DMV products.  

Identity documents include a Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration, a W-2 form with your name and social security number, a marriage certificate, certified copy of a divorce judgment, or any document “identifying the person by name and bearing the person’s signature, or a reproduction of the person’s signature.” Wis. Admin. Code § Trans 102.15(4).  More information is available here:

Documents to prove residency include a paycheck, stub or earning statement, a utility bill for electricity, a mobile phone bill issued in the last 90 days, a bank statement issued in the last 90 days, or government-issued correspondence from a federal, state, county or city agency within the last year.  More information is available here:

For more information about the voter ID law, how to get a free state ID and exceptions to the law, visit the Elections Commission’s Bring It to the Ballot website: or call 1-866-VOTE-WIS.

Haas said there were very few problems reported with photo ID at Tuesday’s Partisan Primary Election, due in part to a low turnout of about 13 percent of voting-age adults.

“Turnout will be much higher on November 8, and we want everyone to be prepared to vote then,” Haas said. “If you still need to get a photo ID, now is the time to start looking for your documents and planning a trip to the DMV.”

Some older voters whose photo IDs have expired before November 4, 2014 may want to consider becoming permanent absentee voters. 

“The voter ID law contains an important exception for ‘indefinitely confined’ voters who have difficulty making it to the polls on Election Day due to age, disability, infirmity or illness,” Haas said. “These voters can cast an absentee ballot without having a photo ID because the person who witnesses the ballot confirms the voter’s identity.”

For more information about exceptions to the law, visit the Bring It website:  To become a permanent absentee voter, contact your municipal clerk’s office.