AUSTIN (KXAN) – In light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued Tuesday, 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 will begin issuing Election Identification Certificates to individuals who do not already have an acceptable form of photo identification 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); and
- 17 years and 10 months or older.
Beginning Wednesday, individuals 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 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.
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