A Voter ID Card, also known as the Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) is a photo identity card that is issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to all individuals who are eligible to vote.1 This card is commonly known by other names such as an election card, voter’s card, Voter ID, etc.
New Voter ID
You can register for a new Voter ID Card for free, either in person or online by filling out Form 6, which is the application form to register as a voter in India. If you meet all the requirements, your name will be added to an ‘electoral roll’ which is a list of names of voters in a particular constituency. To understand how to get a new Voter ID card, read here.
- Name: If you have changed your name to reflect the gender you identify with, you can fill your new name in the application form. You should carry a copy of your changed name in the Central/State Gazette in case the election authorities require it.
- Gender Details: While obtaining a new Voter ID card, you have 3 options for gender which is “male”, “female” and “transgender”. This option is available to you in all offices of Electoral Registration Officers, Assistant Electoral Registration Officers and Booth Level Officers across India and in the application form.
Updating / Changing Voter ID Details
You can update the demographic information of your Voter ID Card and by doing so you will receive a newly issued card which will have updated information. Read here to understand in detail how to update Voter ID Card details.
- Changing Your Name: If you want to update your name to reflect the gender you identify with, you can fill your new name in the application form. You should carry a copy of your changed name in the Central/State gazette and a copy of other identification proofs which recognize your new name.
- Changing Gender Details: If you want to update your gender, then you can mark from the 3 options given which is “male”, “female” and “transgender” (third gender). This option is available to you in all offices of Electoral Registration Officers, Assistant Electoral Registration Officers and Booth Level Officers and in the application form.
The election officials may ask you for proof of gender identity or proof of change of name, but they cannot subject you to any form of harassment or gender verification on the spot. If you face any harassment or discrimination, you should complain to the election authorities. If these authorities do not respond, you can take help from lawyers, NGOs, etc. to make the process easier and take action by filing a complaint with the police.
- Section 61(b), Representation of Peoples Act, 1951; Rule 28(2), Registration of Electors Rules, 1960.