Rhode Island ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: Due to the pandemic and implementing social distancing practices, the primaries and general election will be predominantly mail ballot elections. All registered voters will receive a mail ballot application. No witnesses will be required for absentee ballots in 2020. For voters who cannot vote by mail and need to vote in person, review the steps on the Secretary of State's website and check before going to vote at a polling place. There will be fewer polling places open and vote by mail is strongly encouraged.

If you need a photocopy of your ID to accompany your absentee/vote-by-mail ballot application and do not have access to a copier or printer, click here to learn how we can help.

Who is eligible to request a mail ballot and vote by mail?

Any registered Rhode Island voter can vote a mail ballot. No excuse is necessary.

First-time voters

When you register to vote or vote for the first time in a federal election in your state, you must prove who you are:
  • If you register to vote in person, you must show a driver’s license, state ID, or provide the last 4 digits of your social security number (SSN), if you have one.
  • If you registered by mail and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN, you must show an acceptable form of ID (see below) at your polling place.
  • If you apply for an absentee/vote by mail ballot and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN when you registered by mail, you must include a copy of an acceptable ID (see below).

Here is a list of acceptable IDs: Documents that prove who you are

Your state may have other ID requirements for voting in person or for absentee/vote by mail ballot.

Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

No. Unless you are a first-time voter – see above.

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

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

Last update: June 26, 2020

Hannah Piercey