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How to get voter identification in Pa.

Published July 26. 2012 05:02PM

Here are some basic facts about Pennsylvania's Voter ID law:

• The law goes into effect on Nov. 6, General Election day

• To be accepted, identification must include a name, a photo, and an expiration date that is current.

• Acceptable ID's include photo IDs issued by the state or federal government. These can include driver's licenses; a state Department of Transportation photo ID card (which will remain valid for voting one year after the expiration date); a U.S. passport; U.S. military ID (active duty and retired military IDs may designate an expiration date that is indefinite, but military dependents' IDs must include a current expiration date); an employee photo ID issued by federal, state, county or municipal government; a photo ID issued by an accredited Pennsylvania public or private college; a photo ID issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and personal care homes.

• Voters who have religious objections to being photographed may provide a Pennsylvania "without-photo" driver's license or identification card.

• A registered voter who lacks an acceptable form of identification may obtain a free PennDOT photo ID for voting purposes at a PennDOT driver's license center.

• Voters who had a Pennsylvania driver's license or PennDOT photo ID card that has been expired for a year or more can get new ID at a PennDOT center by completing an application form, available online or at the centers. Voters who still have their expired Pennsylvania driver's license or PennDOT photo identification card should bring it along to the driver's license center. However, if the voter no longer has it, PennDOT will be able to determine if the voter has an expired product.

• Voters who have a Pennsylvania driver's license or PennDOT photo identification card that expired before 1990, should call PennDOT's customer call center at 1-800-932-4600 to verify whether their records are still in PennDOT's system.

• Registered voters who have never had a Pennsylvania driver's license or a PennDOT photo identification card can visit a PennDOT Driver's License Center with a completed Application for Initial Photo Identification Card and their Social Security card AND one of the following: A certificate of U.S. citizenship; certificate of naturalization; birth certificate with a raised seal. In addition, they must have two proofs of residency, such as lease agreements, current utility bills, mortgage documents, W-2 form, or tax records.

For a Pennsylvania-born registered voter, who does not already have a certified copy of his or her birth certificate and needs a photo ID for voting purposes PennDOT will forward requests for birth record certification to the Department of Health. This certification process will take approximately 10 days and is free of charge. When visiting the PennDOT driver's license center, a person must: Tell the PennDOT customer service representative he or she was born in Pennsylvania and needs a photo ID for voting purposes, and does not have a certified copy of his or her birth certificate.

• Voters who may not have any bills, leases or mortgage documents in their name may bring the person with whom they are living along with that person's driver's license or photo ID to a Driver's License Center as one proof of residence, plus at least one more piece of official mail with their name and address.

• Homeless people can use the address of a shelter as their residence provided they visit a Driver's License Center with an employee from the shelter that has an employee photo identification issued by the shelter and a letter on the shelter's letterhead indicating that the homeless individual stays at the shelter.

• If a voter shows up at a polling place with the acceptable documents, he or she will still be able to vote by provisional ballot. But for that vote to count, the voter must, within six days after the election, provide the county board of elections with a copy of an acceptable ID and an affirmation that the voter is the same person who cast the provisional ballot.

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