Photo ID Required to Vote in Tennessee

Beginning January 1, 2012, in order to vote during the early voting period or on Election Day, voters must present a state or federal ID containing the voter's name and photograph.

What Photo IDs are acceptable?

  • Tennessee driver license with your photo – even if expired;
  • United States Passport – even if expired;
  • Tennessee Department of Safety Photo ID – even if expired;
  • Photo ID issued by the federal or a state government - even if expired.
  • United States Military Photo ID, including a Veteran Identification Card – even if expired.
  • State-issued handgun carry permit with your photo – even if expired.

What Photo IDs are NOT acceptable?

  • A college student photo ID;
  • A photo ID not issued by the federal or state government, such as your discount club or bank card with your photo.

What if I have a Photo ID but I forget to bring my photo ID to vote?

  • You will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, which is a paper ballot, at your polling location and
  • Within two (2) business days after the election, you must take your valid photo ID to your local county commission office for the election officials to make a copy of the ID.

Who does not have to show a Photo ID?

  • Voters who qualify to vote absentee by mail;
  • Voters who life in licensed nursing homes or assisted living centers and vote at the facilities.
  • Voters who are hospitalized;
  • Voters who have a religious objection to being photographed;
  • Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain photo IDs without paying a fee.

Need additional Information, Assistance or Have Suggestions?
Disability Law and Advocacy Center of TN at 800-342-1660
Tennessee Disability Coalition at 888-643-7811

How can a person with a disability who does not have an acceptable Photo ID obtain one?

  • Any person with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more life activities, who does not have a Tennessee driver license, may obtain a free Photo ID.
  • To obtain this free photo ID, you must take a letter from a Tennessee physician verifying your disability and a document that verifies your identity to one of the Department of Safety Driver License Testing Centers.
  • For questions regarding what documents are acceptable to verify one's identify, call the Department of Safety Call Center at 1-866=849-548.

What if I am indigent and cannot get a Photo ID without paying a fee?

  • When asked for your photo ID at your polling place, tell the election worker that you were unable to afford a photo ID, for example, you can't pay for a birth certificate for proof of citizenship.
  • You will complete and sign an affidavit, under the penalty of perjury, stating you were unable to afford a photo ID.
  • You will then be allowed to vote.

What if my polling place is not accessible?

  • You can vote during the early voting period at the county election commission office (Photo ID required); or
  • You can file an affidavit with the county election commission office stating that your polling location is not accessible and you wish to vote at the county election commission office on Election Day. The affidavit must be filed at least ten (10) days before Election Day (Photo ID required); or
  • You may request an absentee ballot (No Photo ID required).

What if I need assistance when voting?

You have a right to have anyone of your choice, except a candidate or poll watcher, assist you during the voting process. If you need assistance, ask any election official during the voting process and assistance will be given in a bipartisan manner.

Your Vote Counts!