Wisconsin Voter ID Law Goes Into Effect February 2016

By: Bridget Clerkin November 13, 2015
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Hand of businessman vote ballot with box. Vector illustration.
Starting February 2016 Wisconsin voters must bring proper identification to the polls.

The next time America will vote for a president is still nearly a year away, but this election cycle has already produced a large number of hopefuls and plenty of interesting moments.

Wisconsin residents hoping to help whittle that primary field down to one main candidate each on the Republican and Democratic side will need to make sure they have the right documentation when they visit the polls February 2016.

The state’s strict voter identification law, which requires participants at the polls to bring an officially-issued photo ID in order to step into the election booth, will go into effect for the first time during Wisconsin’s February 16, 2016 primary election.

Valid forms of ID include:

  • A Wisconsin driver’s license.
  • A Wisconsin state ID card.
  • A military ID card.
  • A U.S. passport.

The above documentation may still be used if they are expired, as long as they expired on or after November 4, 2014.

Other forms of acceptable identification include:

  • A certificate of naturalization, within 2 years of issuance.
  • A driver’s license receipt, issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), within 45 days of issuance.
  • An ID issued by a federally recognized Wisconsin Native American tribe.

Wisconsin students can also participate in the election if they bring BOTH of the following:

  • A photo ID issued by an accredited Wisconsin university, college or technical college.
  • An enrollment verification document, valid for 2 years from date of issuance.

The Wisconsin DOT advises for students to contact their local county clerk, the state Government Accountability Board, or their college or university for further guidance.

The state agency has also issued a memo to inform residents that a current address is not required to appear on acceptable forms of identification.

However, those registering to vote for the first time or changing the name or address listed on their voter registration must bring proof of residency, with their current name and address.

Those who do not currently have the proper form of identification can receive a free state ID card from their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, if they specify that the document is for voting purposes.

However, with the election just a few months away, the DMV has urged residents hoping to receive such ID to visit their local office promptly.

For more information, residents can call the Wisconsin DMV at (608) 264-7447.

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