Answers to Some Voter Registration Questions

Story Date: 
Feb 14, 2018

1. Voter REGISTRATION is not the same as VOTER ID. To vote in Wisconsin, you must be registered. To see if you’re registered at your current address, check online at: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/RegisterToVote

2.    You have to REGISTER if:

  • You’ve never voted in Wisconsin before;
  • You’ve moved since the last time you voted in Wisconsin – even if you just moved across the street or to a new apartment in your building;
  • You changed your name (by marriage, divorce, etc.) since the last time you voted. (If you changed your name you must first update your name IN PERSON at the Social Security Office and at the DMV. Then you can register to vote);
  • You haven’t voted in four years or more (and have been taken off the voter registration rolls); or
  • You were taken off the voter registration rolls because of being convicted of a felony, and now you’re “off paper” and want to vote again.


3.    There are many ways to register:


4.    To register, if you have a current, valid Wisconsin driver’s license or Wisconsin ID, you need to put the license or ID number and expiration date on the online or paper registration form.

  • If you have a valid Wis. license or State ID but don’t know the number and expiration date, get it from the DMV by calling 608-266-2261.
  • If you don’t have a Wisconsin license or ID, YOU STILL CAN REGISTER. Just write the last four digits of your Social Security number on the online or paper form.
  • IMPORTANT: You DO NOT need a photo ID to register to vote, but you MUST HAVE a photo ID to vote. See http://aclu-wi.org/story/top-10-voter-id-questions


5.    If you are registering in person or by mail, you have to show a document with your first and last name, and current (voting) address.

  • The document must be valid on the day it is used to register.
  • If you are registering in person at the Clerk’s office or at the polls on Election Day you can show an electronic copy from your smart phone or tablet. Otherwise you usually have to show or mail a paper copy of the document.
  • If you are registering by mail, send a copy of the document with your registration form.


6.    You CAN’T use credit card bills, collection notices, magazines or personal mail to prove your address.

7.    The document with your name and current address can be:

  • a recent utility bill (electric, gas, cell or landline phone, cable, internet, etc.);
  • a lease (unless you are registering by mail);
  • a WI drivers license or ID card;
  • a contract or intake document prepared by a residential care facility that says you currently reside in that facility;
  • any ID card issued by a WI governmental body (like a fishing/hunting license, or concealed carry license);
  • an employer ID card with your photo and home address (but not a business card);
  • a bank statement;
  • a pay check;
  • a WI college/university photo ID along with a tuition fee receipt;
  • a letter from any agency that serves homeless persons (does NOT have to be an overnight shelter – can be also day shelter, church, meal program, etc.);
  • any government document or check like:
  • Car, truck and other vehicle registrations;
  • Speeding tickets, underage drinking tickets or other municipal tickets;
  • Food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid/Badgercare, Wisconsin Works (W-2), and Wisc. Shares, letters, notices, benefit statements, or paperwork;
  • Social Security and SSI notices, letters and benefit statements;
  • Medicare Notices and Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) (not from  private health insurance providers);
  • Unemployment compensation notices, letters and benefit statements;
  • Public high school, public technical college, public college and public university letters and documents, including: admissions correspondence, financial aid notices, report cards, and class schedules;
  • Federal or state government financial aid letters & notices (not from private entities like Sallie Mae or Great Lakes Higher Ed. Corp.);
  • Public library letters or records;
  • Court notices and paperwork;
  • Police reports;
  • Tax refund checks or notices from IRS or Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue;
  • Billing statements and collection notices from a governmental entity;
  • Letters from a federally recognized Wisconsin Native American tribe;
  • Letters, notices or paperwork from city, town, village or public school district; city, town, village or county clerk or treasurer’s office; etc.;
  • Letters, notices or other paperwork from state agencies like Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV or DOT), Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), Dept. of Workforce Development (DWD), Dept. of Health Services (DHS), Dept. of Children and Families (DCF), and many others
  • Letters, notices or paperwork from federal government, like Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration (SSA), & many others;
  • Veterans’ Administration (VA) papers like letters, notices, & medical records.


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If you have other questions about voter registration, “like” Wisconsin Election Protection on Facebook  or follow @EPWisco on Twitter & message or post there. (If you don’t have access to Facebook or Twitter, email questions or concerns to vote@aclu-wi.org and we’ll respond as soon as we can.)

 If you need help registering or getting an ID, call 608-285-2141 for help from trained volunteers.

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