POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 3:47pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 7:57am
AUSTIN, TX (DPS) — Pursuant to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued today, new voting requirements passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011 will take effect immediately. Photo identification will now be required when voting in elections in Texas.
On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will begin issuing Election Identification Certificates (EIC) to individuals who do not already have an acceptable form of photo identification (ID) to present when voting.
Applications for the EIC will be accepted at DPS driver license offices across Texas.
If an applicant already has any of the following documents, they are not eligible to receive an EIC:
- Texas driver license – unexpired or expired less than 60 days
- Texas personal identification card – unexpired or expired less than 60 days
- U.S. passport book or card – unexpired or expired less than 60 days
- Texas concealed handgun license – unexpired or expired less than 60 days
- U.S. Military identification with photo – unexpired or expired less than 60 days
- U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo
To qualify for an EIC, applicants must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- A Texas resident
- Eligible to vote in Texas (show a valid voter registration card or submit a voter registration application when applying for the EIC)
- 17 years and 10 months or older
Beginning June 26, people may apply for an EIC by visiting a Texas driver license office and completing an EIC application (DL-14C). Applicants must also bring the following items to the office to verify U.S. citizenship and identity.
The EIC receipt an individual receives will include their photo and can be used for voting until the permanent card is delivered by mail.
The EIC is free of charge to qualifying applicants and is valid for six years. There is no expiration date of an EIC for citizens 70 years of age or older.
The EIC can only be used for the purpose of voting in an election and may not be used as personal identification.
Residents with a documented disability may apply at their county voter registrar for a permanent exemption from the photo ID requirement. If approved, they will not need a photo ID to vote. Also, if individuals are voting by mail, they do not have to submit a photo ID.
For more information on the requirements, exemptions and process for obtaining an EIC, please visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/electionID.htm .
For more information on voting in Texas, visit the Secretary of State’s website: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/ .