Identification Requirements

You may be asked to show identification when you check-in at your polling place for any of the following reasons:

  • You are voting for the first time in Massachusetts in a federal election;
  • You are an inactive voter;
  • You are casting a provisional or challenged ballot;
  • The poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification.

Acceptable identification must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. Examples of acceptable identification include: a driver's license, state-issued ID card, recent utility bill, rent receipt, lease, a copy of a voter registration affidavit, or any other printed identification which contains the voter's name and address.

If you are voting for the first time in a federal election in Massachusetts after registering to vote by mail, you may be required to show identification under federal law. It is recommended that you include a copy of your identification with your mail-in voter registration form; if you choose not to do so, you may be asked for identification when you go to your polling place on Election Day. If you are unable to present identification when you check-in, you may cast a provisional ballot and return later with identification. If you do not return with acceptable identification by close of polls, your ballot cannot be counted.

You may also be asked to show identification if you are on the list of inactive voters or if a poll worker has reasonable cause to request it. If you are not able to present identification in such a situation, you must still be permitted to vote; however, your ballot must be challenged. This means that your name and address, the name and address of the challenger, and the reason for the challenge must be written on your ballot. You ballot will be cast normally, and will only be re-examined in the case of a recount, court order, or audit.