What Is an Acceptable ID for the SAT?

A valid drivers license is an acceptable SAT ID
Getty Images | Ned Frisk

Knowing what ID you need to take the SAT exam can be a challenge. Your admission ticket isn’t enough to get you into the testing center, says the College Board, the organization that administers the test. And, if you come with the wrong or inappropriate ID, you won't be allowed in to take this all-important exam, which could determine whether you get into the college of your choice.

Whether you're a student taking the SAT in the United States, or you’re an international student taking the exam in India, Pakistan, Vietnam or anywhere else, it's important to take the time to understand the ID requirements as set forth by the College Board.

Acceptable IDs for the SAT

The College Board has a list of very specific IDs that are acceptable that—in addition to your admissions ticket—will get you into the testing center, including a:

  • Government-issued driver's license or non-driver ID card.
  • Official school-produced student-identification card from the school you currently attend. (School IDs from the prior school year are valid through December of the current calendar year.)
  • Government-issued passport.
  • Government-issued military or national identification card.
  • Talent Identification Program ID or Authorization to Test form (allowed for eighth grade and below).
  • College Board’s Student ID form. If you do not have an acceptable ID, you may be able to use this ID form. 

Unacceptable IDs for the SAT

Additionally, the College Board offers a list of unacceptable IDs. If you come to the testing center with one of these, you won't be allowed in to take the exam:

  • Any document that is photocopied or expired.
  • 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 digitally altered.
  • A credit or debit card of any kind, even one with a photograph.
  • A birth certificate.
  • A Social Security card.
  • An employee ID card.
  • A hunting or fishing license.
  • A missing child ("ChildFind") ID card.
  • Any temporary ID card.

Important ID Rules

The name on your registration form must match the name on your valid ID. If you make a mistake when you register, you must contact the College Board as soon as you realize your mistake. There are several other scenarios where this issue can be an issue:

  • Your name is too long for the registration form. If this occurs, type in as much of your name as you can, even if you stop with a number of letters remaining. As long as your ID matches the portion of the name that fits into the registration form, you'll be able to test.
  • You go by your middle name. No matter what you're called, your name on your registration form has to match your name on your ID. Type your name into the SAT registration form exactly as it appears on the ID you'll bring to the testing center or you will not be able to test.
  • Your birth name is different than what's on your ID. If this is the case, register using your ID name, even if it's different than what's on your birth certificate. Your birth certificate is not a valid ID on test day, so it doesn't matter what it says.

Other Important Information

If you forget your ID and leave the test center to retrieve it, you may not be able to take the test that day even if you've registered. Standby testers are waiting for places, and the College Board has strict policies regarding testing times and student admittance after testing has begun. If this happens to you, you'll have to test on the next SAT test date and pay a change-date fee.

If you are older than 21, you may not use a student ID card to take the SAT. The only form of acceptable ID is a government-issued ID card like a driver's license or passport.

If you are a test-taker in India, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, or Pakistan, the only acceptable form of identification is a valid passport with your name, photograph, and signature.

If you are taking the test in Egypt, Korea, Thailand, or Vietnam, the only acceptable form of identification is a valid passport or valid national ID card with your name, photograph, and signature. A national ID card is only valid in the country of issuance. If you travel to another country to test, you must provide a passport as identification.

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Roell, Kelly. "What Is an Acceptable ID for the SAT?" ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/what-is-acceptable-id-for-the-sat-3211822. Roell, Kelly. (2023, April 5). What Is an Acceptable ID for the SAT? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-acceptable-id-for-the-sat-3211822 Roell, Kelly. "What Is an Acceptable ID for the SAT?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-acceptable-id-for-the-sat-3211822 (accessed May 31, 2023).