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Advocates' Blog


Get Your ID Ready—Election Day Is Coming!

This year will be the first time Nebraska has required photo identification to vote. We want to make sure you know how to prepare so you can cast your vote. We just made a video to help you prepare. Share it with your family and friends to make sure everyone knows what to do on Election Day.

We will all need to bring a photo ID with us to the polls starting with the May 2024 primaries.

The good news is that a lot of different types of ID will be accepted. Here’s a list of the most common ones:

  • Nebraska driver’s license (even if it is expired)
  • Nebraska state ID card (even if it is expired)
  • Nebraska college or University ID card (even if it is expired)
  • Any military or tribal ID if it has your name and photo
  • U.S. passport
  • Face sheet or other record from your assisted living facility or nursing home if it has your photo

The Nebraska Secretary of State’s office has written a brochure that includes a complete list of acceptable photo IDs. The information is also available in Spanish.

We already have heard from some people that they don’t have a state ID card because they just haven’t had the money to get one. Good news: state ID cards are now free, because the legislature wanted to make sure people could still exercise their right to vote. You can get a state ID card from your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

You’ll have to know your Social Security number when you go to the DMV and apply for the state ID card. You’ll also need to bring documents with you to the DMV to get the state ID card:

  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • Two documents that show your name and address (such as pieces of mail you’ve received at your current address)

If you don’t have your Nebraska birth certificate, don’t worry: you can get a copy of that for free too, through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Is your birth certificate from another state and you are having trouble getting a copy? Or does your disability mean you just can’t get a photo ID? The new voter ID law has a safety valve built in for you: You can request permission to skip showing photo ID if you have a “reasonable impediment” due to your disability, an illness, a lack of birth certificate, or a religious objection to being photographed. That must be done in writing and you need to do that before Election Day. You can get the form from your local county election commissioner or by contacting the Secretary of State’s office through their website, or by phone at 402.471.2554.

Maybe right now you’re thinking “That’s a lot of work—I need to get my birth certificate, then I need to get some mail showing my address, then I need to go to the DMV. I’m busy!” We know it’s extra work, and that’s why we’re trying to get the word out now so you have time to prepare before the Presidential election in November 2024.

(Pro tip: if you live in a larger town, like Lincoln or Omaha, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to get your ID.  You can do that on the DMV website home page.)

If you run into any barriers getting documents for your photo ID, or if you have trouble registering to vote, let us know, we’re here to help. You can call our office at 1-800-422-6691 or reach us through the “Need Assistance” section of our website.

Your voice is important, and your vote is important.

  1.  Make sure you’re registered,
  2. Make sure you’ve got one of the types of photo ID ready, and then
  3. Let everyone in your life know that you’ll be proudly showing up on Election Day to exercise your right to vote!

Amy Miller is an attorney with Disability Rights Nebraska where she works on a number of issues including voting rights and monitoring conditions at facilities where people with disabilities reside.