Voter Identification

When you go to vote (except with absentee ballots), you must bring appropriate photo identification. Tenn. Code Ann. § 2–7–112(c) permits the following types of identification:

  1. A Tennessee driver license.
  2. A valid identification card issued pursuant to § 55-50-336 [a state issued photo identification card].
  3. A valid United States passport.
  4. A valid employee identification card issued by the state of Tennessee, or the United States where authorized by law to issue employee identification; provided, that such identification card contains a photograph of the voter.
  5. A valid United States military identification card; provided, that such identification card contains a photograph of the voter
  6. An employee identification card for retired state employees authorized pursuant to § 8-50-118.

This list does not include non-photo identification; identification issued by a city, county, or college; and identification issued by another state.

There are limited instances where you may not need to have a photo identification; however, those instances are extremely uncommon. The secretary of state lists the following exemptions to the voter identification requirement:

  • Voters who vote absentee by mail (view requirements here)
  • Voters who are residents of a licensed nursing home or assisted living center and who vote at the facility
  • Voters who are hospitalized
  • Voters with a religious objection to being photographed
  • Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee

Unless this is your first time voting and you registered to vote by mail, then you may use an expired photo identification if it would otherwise be acceptable under Tenn. Code Ann. § 2–7–112(c).

If you have a question about appropriate identification, you should contact 1.877.850.4953 (Secretary of State Division of Elections), 865.215.2480 (Knox County Election Commission). If after calling those numbers you still have unresolved questions about what identification you need to vote, then you can reach out to the Knox County Democratic Party 865.540.4001 and we will reach out to one of our Voter Services Committee Members to contact you about your question or issue.

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