Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago

Commissioners

Langdon D. Neal, Chairman
Richard A. Cowen, Secretary/Commissioner
Marisel A. Hernandez, Commissioner

Lance Gough, Executive Director
Kelly Bateman, Asst. Executive Director

Home > For Voters > When You Need ID to Vote

When You Need ID to Vote

There are several situations when voters need to show identification before voting. Usually, ID is required to prove the voter's identity and residency at the address of the registration. Here are the most common situations:

1 Any time a voter uses Early Voting, the voter must present a government-issued photo ID such as a current Illinois driver's license, a current state identification card issued by the Illinois Secretary of State or a current passport. This is a requirement under Illinois law.

2 New voters who register by mail who have not previously supplied the Election Board with appropriate ID need to show sufficient ID the first time they vote.

Special Note: If you registered on or near the deadline and if your name does not show up on the precinct poll sheet at your polling place, be sure to ask the judges to check the "supplemental" poll list. 

3 A majority of the judges of election at a polling place challenge the voter, based on a mismatch of the signature or other discrepancy in the voter registration, or if the voter does not appear on the voter rolls. Again, voters who registered very recently should ask the judges of election to check the "supplemental" poll list.

Please note that even if you don't have ID, you may cast a "provisional" ballot.

Please also note that if you are in the wrong precinct on Election Day, your provisional ballot will not count under any circumstances. On Election Day, a provisional ballot must be cast in the precinct where the voter is registered to vote in order for that ballot to be added to the count.

If a provisional ballot is cast in the correct precinct, voters have two days after the election to deliver documentation and/or ID to show that their registrations were valid in that precinct so that their provisional ballots may be counted. That proof must be delivered to or presented at the Chicago Election Board offices at 69 W. Washington St., Chicago, on the Sixth Floor.

What forms of identification can a voter use to prove identity and residency?

A voter needs two forms of ID, at least one of which must show the address of the registration. These may include:

-- A valid and current Illinois driver's license
-- A valid and current state ID issued by the Illinois Secretary of
State
-- A copy of a current and valid photo ID
-- A current utility bill with name and address
-- A current bank statement with name and address
-- A recent government check with name and address
-- A recent paycheck with name and address
-- A recent government document that shows the name and address
-- A current college ID card 

Note: During Early Voting, voters must provide a current and valid government-issued PHOTO ID, such as a current Illinois driver's license, current state identification card issued by the Illinois Secretary of State or a current passport. This is an Early Voting requirement under Illinois law.