How does REAL ID relate to voter ID?

A REAL ID is not required to vote in any state.

However, in some states voters who want to renew or obtain a state photo ID or driver's license (for voting or another purpose) have no choice but to go through the REAL ID process.


Residents in every U.S. state and territory, as well as the District of Columbia, will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card, or another acceptable form of identification such as a passport, to access Federal facilities, enter nuclear power plants, and board commercial aircraft. The Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to Oct. 1, 2021.

Graphic of star in circle

REAL ID-compliant IDs have a star design in the upper right corner
. The exact design varies from state to state.



Every state that requires ID to vote allows you to use a current driver’s license or identification card issued by that state. 

You can check the specific requirements for your state here.

Seven states with voter ID laws ONLY issue REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and state IDs. 

Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and South Dakota accept some expired driver's licenses or state ID cards as voter ID. Colorado, Hawaii, and Utah require your driver's license or state ID to be current to be used as voter ID.

Voters can cast ballots in these states using forms of identification other than a state-issued driver’s license or ID card. Check out the highlights of what is accepted where you live: Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, Utah.

How do I get a REAL ID?

Applying for a REAL ID requires appearing in person with an array of documents proving your identity.

The proof of identity and residence you need to bring and the office that issues REAL ID-compliant identification depends on where you live.

You can find this information for your state here.  

Be advised: The rollout of REAL ID standards has made renewing or obtaining a state driver’s license or ID card a more time-consuming and bureaucratic process for ALL residents. As demand increases, we expect these difficulties - and confusion regarding voter ID - to grow exponentially

VoteRiders is here to help! If you would like any information or assistance to secure your ID to vote, including the underlying documents needed to apply for ID, call or text our Voter ID Helpline at 844-338-8743 or chat with us on Messenger