In August, 1993, the Election Commission of India ordered the making of photo identity cards for all voters of the country in an attempt to improve the accuracy of the electoral rolls and prevent electoral fraud. To take advantage of the latest technological innovations, the Commission issued revised guidelines for the Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) Program in May 2000. More than 450 million voter identity cards have been distributed across India till now. The voter ID card or EPIC is an identification card issued by the Election Commission to all eligible voters (Indian citizens who are above 18 years of age) to enable voter identification on Election Day. All those who are already enrolled in the voter's list are eligible to receive a voter ID card. These cards carry personal details and a distinct identification number. (In future, data of a biometric nature like digital signature and fingerprints may also be contained inside a microchip, embedded in the given card.)
The EPIC proves to be a unique identity document for all Indians. It is helpful not only for casting a vote in elections but also acts as an identity proof and address proof for opening a bank account, getting a new gas connection, and online reservations for travel and accommodation. In fact nowadays almost all government agencies, insurance companies, mortgage companies like bank agencies (if you are going to apply for mortgage or any other personal loan), and claim firms (Insurance claims) ask for a voter id number. A voter ID card is also essential for registration in the electoral roll in case a person migrates to a place other than the place of his/her domicile.
To get a voter ID Card or EPIC, first of all you have to get registered as a voter by filling and submitting the form 6/8/8A to the electoral Registration officer (ERO) and then submit the form 001A to apply for a voter identity Card. If you are already a registered voter i.e. your name is already in the voter's list, you can submit the Form 001C to the ERO. Collect the receipt duly signed by the ERO.
To issue voter ID cards to all registered voters, the Election Commission of India (ECI) organizes drives via Designated Photographic Locations (DPLs), at specific time periods. During these drives, the ECI advertises in all major newspapers of the state. All registered voters are also given information notices by the EROs of each area. The notices issued contain useful information such as the constituency number and the polling booth or part number. It also mentions the date on which voter IDs will be issued for a particular polling booth and address of the DPL. Once the voter receives the notice, he/she must visit the DPL which is generally a school or government office in the locality. Each DPL will usually have two systems equipped with digital cameras. All the necessary details are recorded, a photograph is taken and the card is issued thereafter. While most of the above applies to all states in India, there might be some differences in the way in which different states issue voter ID cards. To know the exact rules, please visit the website of your state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). One can also apply for a voter ID Card or EPIC by submitting online forms. Here is the procedure and website for online registration of voter ID cards:
To apply for a voter ID Card online, a candidate must have an e-mail id, his/her ID and address proof like driving license or ration card and the circle area number which he/she belongs to. The second step starts at the following website; http://eci-citizenservices.nic.in/frmForm6New.aspx (copy and paste the link in a new tab to visit the official site for Online registration of voter ID Card). The official site for the election commission is http://eci.nic.in, it provides Form 6 (which is for inclusion of name in voter List). You will also find an option for Form-8 (which is for correction in data of an existing voter ID card). If you want to apply for a new voter ID card choose the option of Form 6. On clicking the link you will be redirected to http://eci-citizenservices.nic.in/frmForm6New.aspx (Form 6 page). There you can submit your mobile number and immediately receive a username and password by SMS. Now you need to fill your details online. After submitting the details, you will be given an Application ID. Print the page and write down the Application ID. After that you should login at http://eci-citizenservices.nic.in with the user name and password given by SMS on your mobile number. Edit the data if required and fill other details. Submit it and take a printout of submitted form. You will also need to upload the scanned copy of proof of date of birth, residence address and identity proof. Send the printed copy with your latest photo, photo copy of proof of date of birth, residence address and identity proof at the address provided in the printed copy. Submit the Application Form along with the documents required to the concerned Electoral Officer of the Assembly constituency where you reside. Collect the receipt duly signed by the ERO.
Thereafter you will receive your voter ID card at your nearest ERO or you can also track the status of your application by using the Application ID.
For Address proof you may provide any of the following:
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