Tennessee

Registered voters in Tennessee need to confirm their identity with a photo ID when they vote in person.

Is out-of-state ID accepted?

No!
You cannot use an ID issued by another state

Is student ID accepted?

No!
You cannot use a student ID

Is an expired ID accepted?

Yes!
You can use an expired ID that has your name and photo

COVID-19 Update

Fear of contracting COVID-19 will not be an excuse to vote absentee in the upcoming November 3 general election. However, if:

1 – You have an underlying medical or health condition that makes you more susceptible to contracting COVID-19,  or

2 – You are vulnerable to greater health risks should you contract COVID-19, or

3 – You care for someone with such a condition, then

You CAN apply for an absentee ballot. Otherwise, to vote by mail you must meet one of the reasons listed below and submit a request by mail, fax or email to your county election commission no later than the 7th day before the election. You must mail your completed ballot so it is received no later than the close of polls on election day. More information including the absentee ballot request form is available on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website. Click here to find contact information for your election commission.

Important note: If you have never voted before and you registered to vote by mail, then you must vote in-person the first time that you vote.

Tennessee ID Requirements for Voting In Person

ACCEPTABLE PHOTO IDS

You can use the following IDs if they show your name and photo:

  • Tennessee driver’s license
  • Tennessee state ID
  • US Passport
  • ID issued by Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
  • ID issued by federal government or state of Tennessee
  • Military ID
  • Tennessee handgun carry permit

These IDs are acceptable even if they are expired.

You can sign a sworn statement and vote if you:

  • are unable to afford the necessary documents to get a photo ID
  • have a religious objection to being photographed

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a registered voter but didn’t bring your ID to the polling place, you may cast a provisional ballot.

In order for your ballot to count, you must bring a valid ID to the election commission office before the close of business, two business days after the election.

You can sign an affidavit of identity and vote, if you:

  • are unable to afford the necessary documents to get a photo ID
  • have a religious objection to being photographed,

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help securing ID.

You do not need a “REAL ID” to vote in Tennessee.

Your driver’s license or state ID card will show a gold star if it meets REAL ID requirements under federal law.

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help securing ID.

Tennessee ID Requirements for Voting By Mail

Fear of contracting COVID-19 will not be an excuse to vote absentee in the upcoming November 3 general election. However, if:

1 – You have an underlying medical or health condition that makes you more susceptible to contracting COVID-19,  or

2 – You are vulnerable to greater health risks should you contract COVID-19, or

3 – You care for someone with such a condition, then

You CAN apply for an absentee ballot. Otherwise, to vote by mail you must meet one of the reasons listed below and submit a request by mail, fax or email to your county election commission no later than the 7th day before the election. You must mail your completed ballot so it is received no later than the close of polls on election day. More information including the absentee ballot request form is available on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website. Click here to find contact information for your election commission.

Important note: If you have never voted before and you registered to vote by mail, then you must vote in-person the first time that you vote.

Most voters do not need a copy of their ID to vote by mail in Tennessee.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a first time Tennessee voter who registered by mail, you cannot vote absentee unless you are on the permanent absentee voting register.

Other Tennessee voters must meet one of the following excuses to vote absentee:

  • You will be outside the county of registration during the early voting period and all day on Election Day
  • You or your spouse are enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside the county of registration
  • You are medically unable; your physician must provide a statement to the County Election Commission
  • You reside in a licensed facility providing relatively permanent domiciliary care, other than a penal institution, outside your county of residence
  • You will be unable to vote in person due to service as a juror for a federal or state court
  • You are sixty years of age or older
  •  You have a physical disability and an inaccessible polling place
  • You are hospitalized, ill or have a physical disability and are unable to appear at your polling place to vote

AND/OR

  • You have determined it is impossible or unreasonable to vote in-person due to the COVID-19 situation.
  • You are the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or has a disability, and/or you have determined it is impossible or unreasonable to vote in-person due to the COVID-19 situation.
  • You are a candidate for office in the election
  • You serve as an Election Day official or as a member or employee of the election commission
  • Your observance of a religious holiday prevents you from voting in person during the early voting period and on Election Day
  • You or your spouse possesses a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) or you possess a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card and certify that you will be working outside the state or county of registration during the early voting period and all day on Election Day
  • You are a member of the military or you are an overseas citizen

No, but voters must provide their Social Security Number on the application.

Learn more about federal ID requirements for first-time voters.

If you need a copy and don’t have the means to print one: Get free help printing a copy of your ID

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match other signatures on file.