Real ID Public FAQs | Homeland Security
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before the passage of the Act.
Read more REAL ID FAQs here:
10.9.12 – General Election Registration Deadline
10.30.12 – Last day to apply for Civilian Absentee Ballot
11.2.12 – Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots
Once you know you are eligible to vote, the next step is to register. In Pennsylvania, you can register in person, by mail and at various government agencies. Below you will find information about how to register, as well as links to voting registration forms and applications.
Register to Vote in Person
You can register to vote at a County Voter Registration Office or other designated sites.
Register to Vote by Mail
You can register to vote by mail in two ways:
Get a Voter Registration Mail Application form from the state or federal government. The Secretary of the Commonwealth and all county registration commissions supply Voter Registration Mail Applications to all persons and organizations who request them, including candidates, political parties and political bodies and other federal, state and municipal offices.
Download the Voter Registration Application. Print, complete, sign and deliver to your County Voter Registration Office by mail or in person.
Register to Vote at PennDOT
You can register to vote at a PA Department of Transportation photo license center when you obtain or update your driver’s license.
Register to Vote at Government Agencies
In addition to PennDOT, you can register to vote at many other state government offices, including:
State offices that provide public assistance and services to persons with disabilities
Armed Forces Recruitment Centers
County Clerk of Orphans’ Court offices, including each Marriage License Bureau
Area Agencies on Aging
Centers for Independent Living
County Mental Health and Mental Retardation offices
Student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education
Offices of Special Education
DA Complementary Paratransit offices
Voter Registration Forms
Below are links to different voter registration forms and applications. Remember that the deadline for registering is 30 days prior to each election.
Pennsylvania Voter Registration Mail Application Form (PDF): Use this form to register to vote by mail. Pennsylvania Voter Registration Mail Application Forms must be completed and submitted to your County Voter Registration Office.
Request Voter Registration Mail Application(s): To request that Pennsylvania Voter Registration Mail Applications be sent to you, please provide your full name and mailing address via the following link: ST-VOTERREG@pa.gov. Remember to indicate the number of voter registration forms that you require. To request multiple Pennsylvania Voter Registration Mail Applications for voter registration drives, please call 1-800-552-VOTE.
Pennsylvania law provides for permanent voter registration, unless the voter’s registration should be cancelled in accordance with law. All electors, except those in the military service of the United States and bedridden or hospitalized war veterans unavoidably absent from their county of residence, must be registered to be eligible to vote.
Details of Pa. bill to require voter photo IDs
HOUSE BILL 934
A person voting must show ID. The acceptable forms of ID must be current, show the individual’s name, photograph, expiration date and be issued by:
• The U.S. government, state government or a municipal or county government in Pennsylvania.
• An accredited public or private institution of higher learning in Pennsylvania.
• A nursing home, assisted living home or personal care home in Pennsylvania.
• Non-photo driver’s license or ID cards issued by PennDOT for voters who have a religious objection to being photographed.
• A PennDOT ID expired within the past year.
• U.S. armed forces IDs that show an indefinite expiration date.
• Absentee-ballot voters, who may provide their driver’s license number or, if they do not have a license, the last four digits of their Social Security number.
People without proper ID may: Cast a provisional ballot on election day and within six days submit a valid photo identification to county elections officials in person or by e-mail or fax.
No voter will be turned away at the polls. If someone shows up without identification, they will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. That voter would then have six days to present an acceptable form of identification.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is also required to offer a voter ID card for free to anyone, provided they have acceptable certification, such as a birth certificate.”