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With less than one month left until the November General Election, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is ready to provide identification needed to vote by expanding online services and bolstering locations.

Most people already have a driver’s license or ID card, or other forms of acceptable identification, to show at the polls. There is no separate “voter ID.” A federally-compliant REAL ID card, which has a star in the right-hand corner, is not required for voting purposes. Expired driver licenses or IDs are still valid to vote only if they expired after November 6, 2018.

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission website, bringit.wi.gov, other forms of acceptable IDs include:

  • Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service
  • A U.S. passport
  • An identification card issued by a federally-recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin

DMV online resources are faster, convenient

DMV has extensive online resources to handle many identification needs and a visit to a DMV is not necessary. Among the many online resources include:

  • Online driver license or ID renewal. Most people under age 65 who are qualified can renew online (wisconsindmv.gov/renewDL). Driver licenses and IDs can be renewed up to one year ahead of the expiration date.
  • Replacement for lost driver licenses or ID cards can be ordered online: wisconsindmv.gov/renewDL
  • Online address update – with the option to order a new driver license or ID card with an updated address
  • Driver license status check: wisconsindmv.gov/status

Steps to obtain a Wisconsin ID

Those who do not currently have a driver license or ID card may obtain identification, free of charge, that is valid for voting even if the documents that are required to get a regular Wisconsin ID are unavailable.

Bring the following documents, if available, to the DMV:

·        Proof of Name and Date of Birth (such as Birth Certificate)

·        Proof of Identity (Social Security Card, Medicaid/Medicare Card, etc.)

·        Wisconsin Residency (Utility bill, government mail, lease, etc.)

·        Proof of U.S. Citizenship (U.S. Birth certificate or citizenship paperwork)

·        Social Security Number

If all or any of these are unavailable, getting an ID for voting is still an option through the ID Petition Process. Bring all the documents available to the DMV and fill out two forms (Wisconsin Identification Card application MV3004, and DMV Administration Petition – Unavailable Documentation MV3012). These forms plus a photo will be used by DMV to verify the required documentation. This process, available free of charge, can be used to quickly obtain a receipt valid to take to the polls for voting, although casting a provisional ballot may be necessary.

A detailed list of the required documents to bring to a DMV is available at wisconsindmv.gov.

DMV locations ready

DMV has at least one Customer Service Center in each of Wisconsin’s counties. DMV also reinstated travel services this fall to provide driver license and ID related services to smaller communities in the state (see sidebar for locations and times).

A new Madison South DMV, 1810 South Park Street, Suite 205, was added to serve this community midway between Madison West DMV and Madison East. This new location will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through December 29, 2020.

The Milwaukee Downtown State Office Building DMV Service Center, 819 N. 6th Street, will open to offer driver license and ID services on Wednesdays in October from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays in October from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Since March, in-person services provided at Wisconsin DMV Customer Services Centers have been limited to driver license and identification-related needs. All vehicle-related services can be done online, by mail, or through a third-party agent. DMV enhanced many online vehicle-related services as well, including eMV Public to title privately-purchased vehicles, online registration renewal, and the popular title/registration MV1 application which now calculates fees. With more people conducting business online, fewer people need to visit a DMV which helps promote greater customer safety through social distancing. 

Anyone with questions related to obtaining an ID to vote should call DMV’s toll-free Voter ID hotline at (844) 588-1069.

Questions regarding voter eligibility, poll locations, voter registration information, or other election information can be directed to the Wisconsin Elections Commission at elections.wi.gov.


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