What is a voter ID card?

A voter ID card is issued by the Election Commission, and is also known as Electoral Photo ID Card or EPIC.

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A voter ID card is simply a document which ascertains your identity as an adult citizen of the country, and is primarily used in casting one’s vote in municipal, state, and general elections.
A voter ID card is simply a document which ascertains your identity as an adult citizen of the country, and is primarily used in casting one’s vote in municipal, state, and general elections.It is issued by the Election Commission, and is also known as Electoral Photo ID Card or EPIC. It can be used as as general identity, address, and age proof for other purposes such as buying a mobile phone SIM card or applying for a passport.

The voter card of yesteryears was black & white in colour, but is now issued in color laminated card format. This plastic card contains one’s passport size picture, date of birth, and the address. It also has a serial number, a hologram sticker and stamped signature of the issuing authority.

The ECI has made voter identification mandatory at the time of polls - you have to show your Voter ID Card issued by the ECI or any other documentary proof allowed by the ECI in order to be able to vote.


Also, having your Voter ID Card does not mean that you will definitely be allowed to vote, it is essential that your name should appear in the electoral rolls. Once you have found out that your name is present on the electoral roll and you also possess an identification document prescribed by the ECI (the Voter ID card or any other acceptable document), you will be eligible to vote.

One of the following 11 specified photo identity documents is required for casting your vote:

  1. Passport
  2. Driving licence
  3. Service identity cards with photograph issued to employees by central/state govt./PSU/public limited company
  4. Passbook with photograph issued by a state bank or post office
  5. PAN card
  6. Smart card issued by RGI under NPR
  7. MNREGA job card
  8. Health Insurance smart card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour
  9. Pension document with photograph
  10. Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, etc.
  11. Aadhaar card
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