Obtaining a state ID to vote

Voters in Wisconsin will head to the polls in November, but now they will have to show a photo ID to cast a ballot.

On Friday a federal appeals court reinstated Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Now the state is taking action to make it easier to get an ID.

Wisconsin’s voter ID law passed in 2011, the same year the Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing free ID cards with a birth certificate.

Last week, the DMV and Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced a new process to obtain a photo ID, focusing on those who don’t have any sort of birth document.

The DMV said it doesn’t know how many people will apply, but it’s  ready.

No matter when a ruling was issued on Wisconsin’s voter ID law, the state’s DMV had a plan in place.

“We’ve been working on this for several weeks and wanted to just start implementing it. No matter what the court decision was going to be, we were going forward with this process” Jim Miller, DMV director of the Bureau of Field Services, said.

Wisconsin residents needing a state ID can apply at their local DMV.

“They would have to bring in several documents with them. They would have to bring in proof of their residency, which would be a utility bill, bank statement, something like that; also proof of identity, which would be a student ID, Social Security card, W2 form, paycheck stub, things like that,” Miller said.

Applicants would also need to supply their Social Security number.

“We would do a verification with our online system with Social Security to make sure that their name and date of birth matched who they were telling us they were,” Miller said.

Once the paperwork is filed, your picture is taken and it’s all sent to the Department of Health Services.

“Once we got confirmation back from Health Services we would be able to issue the product to the customer,” Miller said.

Miller said his department doesn’t expect many applications to come in because since 2011, its issued about 292,000 free state IDs to voters with a birth certificate.

“We were looking for a process to help the residents of Wisconsin, if they would need something to vote, and by partnering with (the) Department of Health Services we were able to come up with this system and still keep the integrity of our product because of all the background checks we can make on this,” Miller said.

Miller said that for a person born in Wisconsin, it should only take about a week after applying to receive their ID. For someone born outside of the state, the time frame depends on how quickly the other state verifies that person’s identity.

For more information and a complete list of acceptable IDs to vote, click here.

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