I get asked SAT ID questions all the time. What sort of ID for the SAT exam is acceptable? Will my student ID work? Do I need a national identification card in order to take the SAT? What if the name I used when I registered is different from the name on my passport? Well, here's the low-down on all things SAT ID related, whether you're a student taking the SAT exam in the United States, or you’re an international student taking the exam in India, Pakistan, Vietnam or anywhere else.
Warning: If you choose not to bring an acceptable ID to the testing center with you, you will not be able to take the exam. So pay attention!
Acceptable ID for the SAT
Here is the list. Read carefully!
- Government-issued driver's license or non-driver ID card
- Official school-produced student-identification card from the school you currently attend
- Government-issued passport
- Government-issued military or national identification card
- Talent Identification Program ID or Authorization to Test form (allowed for grades seven and eight only; photo not required)
- College Board’s Student ID Form*
*The College Board Student ID form may not be used by students in Ghana, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Korea, Pakistan, Thailand or Vietnam. If used, it must be validated by the school you're currently attending (see your school counselor for details) OR if you're homeschooled, it must be validated with a photo ID by a notary.
Unacceptable ID for the SAT
- 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 altered
- Credit or debit card of any kind, 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
Very Strict, Very Important ID Rules
1. Names Must Match:
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.
Scenarios where this can be an issue:
- Problem: Your name is too long for the registration form. Solution: Type in as much of your name as you can, even if you stop with many letters left. As long as your ID matches the portion of the name that fit into the registration form, you'll be able to test.
- Problem: You go by your middle name. Solution: 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.
- Problem: Your birth name is different than what's on your ID. Solution: 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.
2. A Forgotten ID Can Mean a Different Testing Date:
If you leave the test center to go get your ID from wherever you left it, then there is no guarantee that you'll test on 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, too!
3. Testers Older Than 21:
You may not use a student ID card to take the SAT if you're testing over the age of 21. The only forms of ID accepted are a government-issued ID card like a driver's license or passport.
4. Testers in India, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria and Pakistan:
The only acceptable form of identification is a valid passport with your name, photograph and signature. There are no exceptions to this policy!
5. Testers in Korea, Thailand or Vietnam:
The only acceptable forms of identifications are 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. There are no exceptions to this policy!