New Voter Identification Requirements

New Voter Identification Requirements

There are new requirements for voter identification that voters must bring with them to the polling place.

Virginia law now requires all voters to provide one of the following forms of photo identification at the polls. If you do not have any of the required forms of photo identification, you can obtain a free photo identification card for voting purposes only at the Office of Voter Registration.

The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office provides free photo IDs to Arlington residents age 62 and older, by appointment only. Call 703-228-7063 for additional information. These IDs are government-issued and acceptable for voting purposes.

Here are the “acceptable” forms of identification. “Valid” is defined as a genuine document, bearing the photograph of the voter, and is not expired for more than 12 months:

  • Valid Virginia Driver’s License or Identification Card
  • Valid Virginia DMV issued Veteran’s ID card
  • Valid United States Passport
  • Other government-issued photo identification cards (must be issued by US Government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth
  • Valid college or university student photo identification card, must be from an institution of higher education located in Virginia.
  • Employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business
  • or a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card obtained through any local general registrar’s office.

Voters arriving to the polls without photo ID will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot and will have until noon on the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of identification to their locality’s electoral board in order for their provisional ballot to be counted.

Virginia’s photo ID requirements also apply to absentee voters who vote in-person in all elections.

A voter who does not bring an acceptable photo ID to the polls will be offered a provisional ballot.

Any registered voter who does not possess one of the above mentioned forms of photo ID can apply for a free Virginia Voter Photo Identification from any general registrar’s office in the Commonwealth. Voters applying for the Virginia Voter Photo ID Card will have to complete the Virginia Voter Photo Identification Card Application, have their picture taken, and sign the digital signature pad. Once the application is processed, the card will be mailed directly to the voter.

Provisional Ballot Process

A voter who arrives at the polling place without an acceptable form of photo identification will be given the opportunity to vote a provisional ballot. After completing the provisional ballot, the individual voting will be given written instructions from the election officials on how to submit a copy of his/her identification so that his/her vote can be counted.

A voter will have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of the identification to the local electoral board. Voters may submit a copy of their ID via fax, email, in-person submission, or through USPS or commercial delivery service. Note that the copy of the ID must be delivered to the electoral board by noon on Friday, or the provisional ballot cannot be counted. A Friday postmark will not be sufficient. Written notice given to the voter will provide the necessary information, including email, fax, and address of where the ID should be delivered.

If you vote a provisional ballot but don’t have an “acceptable ID,” you can appear in-person in the office of the general registrar in the locality in which the provisional ballot was cast by noon on Friday following the election and apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. At the completion of the application process, the voter may request a Temporary Identification Document. This document can be provided to the electoral board as acceptable identification and the voter’s provisional ballot will be counted.

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Elections,