ID Rules: How the Test Center Will Know You Are You3 min read

One of the most frequently forgotten items at standardized testing centers is an acceptable photo ID. Alongside your admission ticket and your testing materials, all students must bring an acceptable photo ID to the ACT or SAT testing center. Without one, you will not be able to take the exam. Not all photo IDs are allowed, and the ACT and the SAT have different rules. Follow the rules below to ensure that you bring the right ID so you can ace the test!

ACT: The ACT allows three options for ID: a current official photo ID, an ACT Student Identification Form with a photo, or an ACT Talent Search Student Identification Form. These forms of ID all must have the same first and last name as appears on your admission ticket. The photo on the admission ticket cannot replace a form of ID.

An acceptable current official photo ID must be valid and issued by the government or by your school. They also must have an easily recognizable photo and must be made of a hard plastic. An example would be a driver’s license or a school ID.

The ACT Student Identification Form can be found on the ACT’s website. This form is only allowed if you do not have an acceptable current photo ID. The form must include a picture, and it must be fully filled out and signed by a school official or a notary public. You cannot be related to this person.

The ACT Talent Search Identification Form is for students participating in a talent search program that did not have to submit a photo with their registration. (If you did have to submit a photo, an acceptable official ID or an ACT Student Identification Form with a photo must be presented.) More information for this form can be gotten from the Talent Search program.

Some examples of unacceptable forms of ID include: birth certificates, credit cards with photos, ID cards from your employer, various membership cards, or photocopies of an ID card. A longer list is available on the ACT website.

International test-takers: The rules regarding ID in other countries may vary. Contact your test provider if you have questions.SAT: The SAT has very similar requirements to the ACT in regard to ID. The same three options exist: a government or school issued ID card, a SAT Student ID Form, or a Talent Search Identification Form. Original, non-electronic documents must be presented. Once again, the first and last names on the ID must be the same as the first and last names on the admission ticket. The photos on the documents must be clearly recognizable, too.

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An acceptable current official photo ID must be valid and issued ether by the government or by your school. It must be undamaged. School IDs from the previous school year can be used until December 31. Examples of acceptable ID would be a driver’s license or a school ID.

The SAT Student ID Form is for students who do not have an approved ID card. The form can be found on the SAT website, and it must be signed by a school official or a notary. Home-schooled students must have it signed by a notary. The form needs to include a photo. A completed form is valid for 1 year. This form is for test-takers who are younger than 21.

Some examples of unacceptable forms of ID include: photocopied documents, ID cards from your employer, credit cards, and birth certificates. A longer list is available on the SAT website.

International test-takers have different rules. Valid passports with your name, photo, and signature are required for test-takers in India, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Valid passports or national ID cards with your name, photo, and signature are required in Egypt, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. If you take the test in another country, you must bring a valid passport with your name, photo, and signature for ID. Waitlisted students must bring an allowed government or school issued photo ID from the country you are testing in. Other forms of ID will not be allowed. If you have questions about the policies in your country, contact your testing provider.

 

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