Philadelphia03 Sep 2012 05:58 pm

Information from the City Council of Philadelphia
Mark Squilla
Councilman, 1st District

This guide is information for persons seeking to obtain a valid photo ID pursuant to Pennsylvania’s new Voter ID law. All voters participating in the November 6, 2012 election and thereafter must have valid identification. More information regarding elections is available at or

*All information courtesy of Committee of Seventy.


What photo IDs are acceptable?

1. PA Driver’s License – Valid or expired less than 12 months at voting time.

2. ID issued by PennDOT – Valid or expired less than 12 months at voting time.

3. U.S. Passport – Must have an expiration date that is after 11/6/12.

4. Military ID – Active Duty or retired U.S. military ID, including an ID for members of the PA National Guard No expiration date required.

5. Military Dependent’s ID – Must have an expiration date that is after 11/6/12.

6. Employee ID – Issued by federal, PA, PA county or PA municipal government. (A School District employee ID is not acceptable.) Must have an expiration date that is after 11/6/12.

7. University ID – Issued by an accredited PA university, college, seminary, community college or two-year college to students, faculty, employees and alumni. Must have an expiration date that is after 11/6/12.

8. PA Care Facility ID – (such as a long-term care nursing facility, assisted living residence or a personal care home). Must have an expiration date that is after 11/6/12.


Voters with religious objection to being photographed.

Must present a currently valid non-photo driver’s license or other non-photo ID issued by PennDOT. These IDs must be currently valid or expired less than 12 months at voting time. Does the address on a photo ID need to match the address where you are registered to vote? No. The voter ID law does not require an address on your photo ID to match where you are registered to vote.


How can voters obtain a photo ID?

Voters must go to a PennDOT Driver’s License Center to obtain one. The center does not need to be in your home county. Getting a photo ID for voting is free of charge. Required Documentation – 5 items:

1. Application for Photo ID – Form DL-54A, which is available at PennDOT centers, and can also be downloaded by going to:

2. Oath/Affirmation – that (1) he/she is a registered PA voter, (2) he/she does not have any photo ID that will be acceptable at the polls, and (3) he/she requires proof of identification for voting purposes. Also available at PennDOT centers or by downloading at: ( *Penalty for giving false information, fine of at least $1,000,or imprisonment.

3. Social Security card, and

4. Official birth certificate (with a raised seal), certificate of U.S. citizenship, certificate of naturalization or a valid U.S. passport,* and

If you are already in PennDOT system, regardless of expiration, there is no need to have a birth certificate. Also see section regarding birth certificates on page 5.

5. Two proofs of residency, such as a lease agreement, mortgage documents, W-2 form, tax records or current utility bill.


What happens if an eligible voter does not have two proofs of residency?

1. Voter can bring a parent with a Pennsylvania driver’s license or non driver’s photo ID to any PennDOT Driver’s License Center. This will “count” as one proof of residency.

2. As a second proof of residency, the voter can bring a bank statement, paystub or a credit card bill as long as the address matches the address on the parent’s driver’s license or non-driver’s photo ID.

*According to the State Department, if the voter does not have any of these documents, PennDOT will work with the voter to establish the second proof of residency. For example, PennDOT will also accept invoices from doctors’ offices, magazine subscriptions, or cell phone bills.


What if you have an expired driver’s, or a non-driver’s, license photo ID?

1. If expired anytime after 1990, proof of his/her identity is most likely already in PennDOT’s database. In that case, the voter does not have to bring all of the identifying documents.

2. Before going to PennDOT, a voter should call 1-800-932-4600 to make sure his/her information is in the database.


How much does it cost to get a photo ID for voting?

1. Photo IDs for voting purposes are free of charge.

2. Voters should say they need a photo ID for voting when they arrive at a PennDOT Driver’s License Center. Otherwise, the voter could be charged $13.50 – which is what it costs to get a non-driver’s photo ID.


Do voters born in Pennsylvania have to show a birth certificate?

1. Most voters who were born in Pennsylvania do not have to get an official birth certificate in order to get a photo ID for voting. PA-born voters can fill out Form HD01564F (Request for Certification of Birth Record for Voter ID Purposes Only), at a PennDOT Center, or downloaded by going to:

2. Ask a PennDOT representative to forward the request to the PA Department of Health (which houses the Division of Vital Records) to certify the voter’s birth record. This process can take up to 10 days and is FREE.

3. If the voter’s birth record can be certified he/she will get a letter back confirming this and also told when they can pick up their voter ID for voting.

The voter can bring this letter to a PennDOT Driver’s License Center to use in place of an official birth certificate (with a raised seal).

Voter must still complete a Form DL-54A (Application for an Initial Photo Identification Card) and the Oath/Affirmation that he/she is a registered PA voter, does not have an acceptable form of photo ID and needs one in order to vote, as well as bring a Social Security card and two proofs of residency.

*NOTE: This process requires making two trips to a PennDOT: One trip to fill out Form HD01564F to get certification of a Pennsylvania birth certificate and a second to actually get the photo ID for voting. 6

4. Pennsylvania birth certificates purchased for voter ID purposes after March 14, 2012 (date voter ID law went into effect) can apply for a refund by visiting one of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s six regional offices.

Must show proof that he/she purchased a birth certificate after March 14, as well as the photo ID for voting obtained from a PennDOT.

Will receive a refund in the mail. Information on the Department of Health’s regional offices can be found here:


How can voters get a birth certificate if they need or want one?

Most voters who were born in Pennsylvania do not need to get an official birth certificate. However, if the voter wants an official (hard) copy of his/her birth certificate, or needs to get one, here is what to do:

1. Who – Only certain people can request a birth certificate:

a. Person named on the birth certificate, who is 18 years of age or older (if under 18, an immediate family member must apply)

b. Legal representative

c. Husband/wife

d. Parent/step-parent*

e. Brother/sister/half-brother/half-sister

f. Son/daughter/stepson*/stepdaughter*

g. Grandparent/great grandparent (specify maternal or paternal) Grandchild/great grandchild

h. Power of Attorney (for person named on birth certificate or immediate family member listed above) *A step-parent or step-child is required to submit parents’ marriage record supporting their relationship.

2. Cost – $10. Except for the birth record certification request outlined in Question G. above – No fee for veterans or active military or their dependents.

3. Where – Can be requested online, by mail or in person.

a. Mail requests are processed in approximately fourteen weeks from the date of receipt.

b. Online requests are faster: Approximately 15 to 18 business days or less.

c. Regular mail delivery: Approximately 25 to 30 business days or less.

4. Power of Attorney – An individual who has been given the power of attorney can obtain birth certificates for a group of voters. Must submit an application packet to the Division of Vital Records enclosed with (1) a request typed on the individual’s letterhead, (2) an application for certified copies of the birth certificates being sought, (3) a copy of the individual’s photo ID, (4) a copy of a Release of Information Authorization, and (5) $10 cash or check for each birth certificate being sought.

5. Same Day – Voters who want a birth certificate the same day can go to a Division of Vital Records office in Erie, Harrisburg, New Castle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Scranton. There is a two hour processing time during the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Processing requests made between 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. can take three hours.

6. Location – The Division of Vital Records office in Philadelphia is located at 118 North 8th Street, Suite 108, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2412. The phone number is 215-560-3054.


To get information on requesting a PA birth certificate, or the location of Division of Vital Records offices across the state, call the Division of Vital Records at 1-724-656-3100 or go to:


How can voters born outside Pennsylvania get a birth certificate?

Other states have different procedures for obtaining a birth certificate. Voters who were born outside of Pennsylvania should visit: to find out how to obtain a birth certificate.


How can voters prove name changes?

Voters whose names have changed should bring documents to the PennDOT Driver’s License Center that “connect” the names. *For example, if the voter got married or divorced, the voter should bring a marriage certificate or a divorce decree when getting a photo ID for voting. Voters who cannot “connect” the name they are now using with the name on their birth certificate may run into problems getting a photo ID for voting.


Where can voters get a Social Security card?

Voters can call the federal Social Security Administration office at 1-800-772-1213 or by going to: Required Information:

1. Two documents to prove age, identity, and U.S. citizenship.

The Social Security Administration office must see one of the following:

a. A U.S. passport b. A state-issued driver’s license c. A state-issued non-driver’s ID card. If a voter does not have one of the documents, and cannot get a replacement for one of these within 10 days, Social Security will ask to see one of the following:

An employee identification card/badge

Health insurance card (not a Medicare card) or Medicaid card

U.S. military identification

U.S. government identification card

Certificate of Naturalization

Certificate of U.S. Citizenship

U.S. Indian Tribal card (Social Security has to approve this)

Certified copy of a medical record

School identity card, certified record, or transcript (current year) Life insurance policy


Obtaining or replacing a Social Security card is free.

The Social Security Administration says that processing an application for a Social Security card can take seven to 14 days.


Where can voters find a PennDOT Driver’s License Center?

To find the location of Driver’s License Centers, service information and hours of operation, go to: or call: 1. In-State: 1-800-932-4600 2. Out-of-State (if calling from a non-PA area code): 1-717-412-5300 3. Hearing Impaired (In-State): 1-800-228-0676 (TDD) 4. Hearing Impaired (Out-of-State): 1-717-412-5380 (TDD) Voters can go to any PennDOT Driver’s License Center.


What happens if a voter can’t afford to get a photo ID for some reason?

Voter allowed to vote by provisional (paper) ballot.

Voter can sign affirmation provisional ballot because he/she could not afford to get one.

Voter can sign the affirmation and turn it in along with his/her voted provisional ballot at the polling place.

If the voter chooses not to turn in the affirmation on Election Day at the polls, he/she has six calendar days after the election to submit the affirmation to his/her county Board of Elections.

This can be done electronically, by mail, by fax – or in person at the county Board of Elections. Provisional ballots of voters who do not comply within six calendar days after the election will not count. * Note: Because six calendar days after the November 6 election falls on Monday, November 12 – and government offices are closed for Veterans’ Day – the deadline for provisional ballot voters to provide information to their county Boards of Elections is Tuesday, November 13.


What happens if a voter has an acceptable photo ID but forgets to bring it to the polls?

Voter must vote by provisional (paper) ballot. Voter has six calendar days after the election to provide his/her county Board of Elections with the affirmation form he/she signed at the polls along with a copy of his/her proof of identification (i.e., the identification he/she would have brought to the polls had he/she not forgotten to do so). Can do this electronically, by mail, by fax – or show up in person at the county Board of Elections. Provisional ballots of voters who do not comply within six calendar days after the election will not count.


Where is the Philadelphia County Board of Elections?

The Philadelphia County Board of Elections is located at: 510 North Delaware Avenue, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Provisional ballot voters who want to go in person to the county Board of Elections can also go to: City Commissioners Room 142 in City Hall.

For a list of County Boards of Elections around the state, go to 11


Philadelphia Driver & Vehicle 2999 Welsh Road, Philadelphia, PA (215) 464-9950 PennDOT Photo & Exam Center 1530 S. Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 551-5438 PennDot Photo & Exam Center 801 Arch ST. Philadelphia, PA 19107 (800) 932-4600

PennDOT Photo & Exam Center 2320 Island Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19153 (215) 937-1351 PennDOT Photo & Exam Center 7121 Ogontz Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19138 (800) 932-4600 MARK SQUILLA COUNCILMAN, 1ST DISTRICT 332 CITY HALL 686-3458/59 (E-mail:

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