What Is a Valid Form of Identification for the SAT?

Acceptable SAT IdentificationImagine arriving to take the SAT only to find that you didn’t bring a valid form of ID. As crazy as it sounds, it happens all the time. Yes, students do forget their identification, and YES, you will be denied entrance if you don’t have a valid form of SAT ID on you. If you think you’ll be able to sweet talk the proctor into letting you sit for the SAT, just read up on some of the cheating scandals of the past few years. They need to know that you’re who you say you are, period.

Fortunately, it’s pretty cut and dry in terms of what is considered a valid form of SAT identification. Any of the following is an acceptable form of identification that will be accepted on test day (keep in mind that they must be unexpired):

  • Government-issued driver’s license or non-driver ID card
    Official school-produced student-identification card from your current school (your ID from the previous school year can be used, i.e. your 2018-2019 school ID is valid SAT ID until the end of 2019)
  • Government-issued passport or U.S. Global Entry identification card
  • Government-issued military or national identification card
  • A College Board Student ID Form, which must be prepared by your school ahead of time (or notarized if you are homeschooled)
  • Talent Identification Program ID or Authorization to Test form (allowed for grades seven and eight only; no photo required)
  • The following are not acceptable forms of SAT identification on test day:

  • Any document that is photocopied or
  • Any document that does not bear a recent recognizable photograph that clearly matches the test-taker
  • Any document that does not bear your name in Roman English characters exactly as it appears on the Admission Ticket
  • Any document that is worn, torn, scuffed, scarred or otherwise damaged in such a manner that it renders any part of the text on the ID card illegible or renders any part of the photograph unrecognizable
  • Any document that appears tampered with or altered
  • Credit or debit card (even one with a photograph)
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Employee ID card
  • Hunting or fishing license
  • Missing Child (“ChildFind”) ID card
  • Any temporary ID card
  • Your best bet is to simply make sure that you show up with one of the items from that first list. If you need more guidance, keep in mind these additional rules laid out by The College Board:

  • The name on the ID and your current name must match exactly.
    If the test administration staff questions the ID you present, you may be required to provide additional ID. If you don’t have any additional forms of identification, you may be asked to leave the test center.
  • If you leave the test center to obtain identification and get back too late, test center staff may be unable to admit you to take the SAT. Proctors are not required to hold your seat if you leave the center to obtain acceptable SAT identification.
  • Getting into a test center once with a particular form of ID is no guarantee that the same form of identification will be accepted in the future. “But you guys said it was okay last time!” is not a winning argument.
  • Admission to the test center is no guarantee that the ID you provided is valid or that your scores will be reported. You could get into a test center and take the SAT, but then find out later that your score was thrown out because of suspicions about your identity.
  • The whole time you are at the test center, you need to be able to prove who you are. You may be required to show your ID and Admission Ticket and/or sign a test center log multiple times and at various points throughout the test administration. Keep your SAT ID with you at all times!
  • No refunds! If you are dismissed from the test center before you finish the SAT because of invalid or unacceptable ID, or you fail to comply with these ID requirements and policies, your SAT registration fee will not be refunded.
  • What happens if the SAT ID I use is later discovered to be invalid or false?

    To start, your scores will be canceled and your SAT registration and test fees are forfeited. In addition, your parent(s) or guardians, your current school, and any universities or programs you have designated to receive your test scores will be notified. You may also be banned from retaking the SAT in the future, and, if they suspect fraud, the College Board may choose to notify local authorities.

    What happens if I don’t have an acceptable form of SAT identification?

    Thankfully, if you are under 21 and taking the exam in the United States, there is an option for you. If you do not have one of the above listed forms of accepted SAT ID, you can download Student ID Form (.pdf/122KB). This form must be prepared and authenticated by your current school (or by a notary if you are homeschooled). A current photo must be attached to the form before it is notarized.

    What if I’m waitlisted for the test?

    In countries where the waitlist system is used, the above requirements for acceptable forms of SAT identification are a little more strict. The government- or school-issued ID you use must be from the country in which you are taking the exam. No passports, national identification cards, or school identification cards will be accepted from foreign governments or schools.

    What if I’m taking the SAT and I’m over 21?

    The only valid forms of SAT ID for you are government-issued: driver’s license, passport, Global Entry card, military identification, etc. School-issued forms of ID are not valid for SAT identification purposes for test takers 21 or older.

    Are there any other restrictions I need to be aware of?

    Certain countries have additional requirements for forms of identification that are considered valid for SAT ID purposes:

  • Ghana, Nepal, Pakistan, and Nigeria: a valid (unexpired) passport with your name, signature, and photo.
  • India: a valid passport with your name, photo, and signature, or a valid Aadhar card with your name and photograph.
  • Egypt, Jordan, Korea, Thailand, UAE, and Vietnam: A government-issued ID from the country in which you are testing or a valid passport from any country. If you are taking the test outside of your home country, you must use a valid passport.
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    By Bill Robinson, who is really glad he lost more than 100 pounds before his passport renewal photo.