Speak with our Experts
Sign up

Get tailored study abroad advice.


Sign in for exclusive content!

Planning to study abroad?


Build your target shortlist and see your odds of getting into top schools with Ambitio's AI shortlist builder!

close Find your dream school

Heading Out Already?


Our Ivy League mentors and top admission experts can help with personalized tips to get you into your dream school

Speak with our Experts

14 November 2023

6 minutes read

Can We Write GRE Without Passport: A Comprehensive Guide to GRE Exam Registration

Navigating the complexities of GRE exam registration can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding the identification requirements. This comprehensive guide is designed to answer all your questions about whether a passport is necessary for registering and taking the GRE.

Worried about the cost of Studying Abroad?

Sign up to access 25 game-changing scholarships that could cover your costs.


Understanding GRE and Passport Requirements for GRE Exam Registration

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is more than just a test. It’s a gateway to advanced education and opportunities. Many prospective graduate students wonder about the necessity of a passport for GRE exam registration. This section will delve into the identification requirements for the GRE, focusing on the feasibility of taking the GRE without a passport.

GRE Exam: An Overview

Before diving into the specifics of identification requirements, it’s crucial to understand what the GRE entails. The GRE is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), assessing verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. It’s a widely accepted assessment for admission to graduate programs across the globe.

Passport as a Primary ID Document

For most test centers worldwide, a valid passport is the primary ID document required. It must be original, currently valid, and bear your name exactly as you have registered for the GRE exam. This section explains why a passport is often preferred and what makes it a reliable form of identification.

Alternatives to Passports in Different Countries

While the passport is a universally accepted form of identification, some countries may offer alternatives. This part will explore what other forms of government-issued ID, like the Aadhaar card in India, can be used for GRE registration.

Stuck on How to Pick Your Ideal College?

Sign up to access your tailored shortlist and simplify finding your ideal college.


ID Documents and Requirements for GRE

When registering for the GRE, it’s crucial to know the specific ID document requirements. These requirements are set by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and vary depending on your testing location. Below are detailed points explaining the various ID documents accepted and the criteria they must meet.

List of Acceptable ID Documents

  1. Passport: The most widely accepted ID for GRE in most countries. It must be valid, government-issued, and contain a recognizable photograph and your signature.
  2. Government-issued Driver’s License: Accepted in some locations, provided it is valid, contains a recent photograph, and your signature.
  3. State or Province ID Card: A valid, government-issued identification card can be used, especially in regions where driver’s licenses are not common.
  4. Military ID: For members of the armed forces, a valid military ID is acceptable in many countries.
  5. National ID: In some countries, a national ID card is an acceptable form of identification for the GRE.

Criteria for Valid ID Documents

  1. Current and Valid: The ID must be current and not expired.
  2. Government-Issued: The document must be issued by a government entity.
  3. Photograph and Signature: The ID must include a recent photograph that clearly matches the test taker, and a signature.
  4. Name Consistency: The name on the ID must exactly match the name used during the GRE registration.
  5. Physical Document: Electronic IDs, photocopies, or pictures of the ID on a mobile device are not acceptable.

Special Cases and Exceptions

  1. Temporary IDs: In cases where a permanent ID is not available (e.g., due to theft or loss), a temporary ID might be accepted if it meets all other criteria.
  2. Name Changes: If there’s been a recent name change due to marriage or other reasons, additional documents may be required to prove the name change.
  3. Country-Specific Rules: Some countries have specific exceptions or additional requirements. For example, in India, the Aadhaar card may be used as an identification document.
  4. Test Center Rules: Individual test centers might have additional rules or exceptions, so it’s crucial to check with them in advance.
  5. Young Test Takers: For test takers under the age of 18, additional documentation like a parental consent form might be necessary.

Preparing for ID-Related Issues

  1. Early Verification: Verify your ID documents well in advance of the test date to ensure they meet the requirements.
  2. Contacting ETS for Guidance: If you are unsure about the acceptability of your ID, contact ETS for clarification.
  3. Backup Identification: If possible, bring a secondary form of ID to the test center in case there are issues with your primary ID.

GRE at Home and ID Requirements

With the option to take the GRE at home becoming increasingly popular, understanding the ID requirements for this format is essential. This section explores what documents are necessary for the GRE at Home test.

Comparing In-Center and At-Home ID Requirements

How do the ID requirements differ between in-center and at-home GRE tests? This segment compares the two, highlighting the similarities and differences.

Steps to Ensure Compliance for GRE at Home

Taking the GRE at home comes with its own set of rules and requirements. This comprehensive guide offers step-by-step instructions to ensure that your ID documents meet the necessary standards for at-home testing.

Troubleshooting Common ID Issues for GRE at Home

What if you encounter ID-related issues while preparing for the GRE at Home test? This section provides tips on how to troubleshoot and resolve common problems.

See how Successful Applications Look Like!

Access 350K+ profiles of students who got in. See what you can improve in your own application!


GRE Exam Registration without a Passport

Can you register for the GRE without a passport? This section aims to answer this question comprehensively, covering various scenarios and providing practical advice.

Country-Specific ID Requirements

The ID requirements for the GRE can vary by country. Here, we discuss what alternative forms of ID might be acceptable in different regions and the specific conditions under which they are accepted.

How to Register for the GRE Without a Passport

This practical guide walks you through the steps of registering for the GRE without a passport, including how to submit alternative ID documents and contact ETS for special circumstances.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Facing challenges during registration without a passport is common. This part addresses potential hurdles and offers solutions to ensure a smooth registration process.


Start Your University Applications with Ambitio Pro!

Get Ambitio Pro!

Begin your journey to top universities with Ambitio Pro. Our premium platform offers you tools and support needed to craft standout applications.

Unlock Advanced Features for a More Comprehensive Application Experience!


Start your Journey today


Start your Journey today

Unacceptable ID Documents for the GRE

When preparing for the GRE, it’s equally important to know which ID documents are not acceptable. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) sets strict guidelines on what cannot be used as identification for the exam. Here’s a detailed list of such unacceptable IDs:

List of Unacceptable ID Documents

  1. Expired Documents: Any ID that has passed its expiry date is not accepted, regardless of the issuing authority.
  2. Temporary or Interim IDs: Temporary or interim documents, even if issued by a government body, are generally not acceptable.
  3. Photocopies or Digital Images: Photocopies of valid IDs or digital images on phones or other devices are not accepted.
  4. Employee IDs: Identification cards issued by your workplace, regardless of their official appearance, are not permissible.
  5. Student IDs: University or college-issued student identification cards are not acceptable for the GRE.
  6. Credit or Debit Cards: Any banking cards, even those with a photo and signature, cannot be used as ID for the GRE.
  7. Birth Certificates: Birth certificates, although official, do not qualify as a valid ID for this exam.
  8. Social Security Cards: Social Security cards or similar national identity cards without a photo are not acceptable.
  9. Notary-Prepared Letters or Documents: Letters or documents prepared and signed by a notary public are not valid forms of ID for the GRE.

Criteria Making IDs Unacceptable

  1. Lack of Photo or Signature: IDs without a recent photograph or signature of the holder are immediately disqualified.
  2. Lack of Government Issuance: Any ID not issued by a government entity is not considered valid for the GRE.
  3. Non-Physical Forms: Electronic IDs or representations of IDs in non-physical forms are not accepted.
  4. Name Mismatch: IDs where the name does not exactly match the registered name for the GRE are unacceptable.

Special Considerations

  1. Cultural or Religious IDs: IDs issued by cultural or religious organizations, despite their importance, are not acceptable.
  2. Library Cards, Club Membership Cards: Any form of ID that is not government-issued, like library cards or club membership cards, cannot be used.
  3. International Travel Documents: Other than a valid passport, most other international travel documents are not acceptable.

Stuck on How to Pick Your Ideal College?

Sign up to access your tailored shortlist and simplify finding your ideal college.


GRE Subject Test and Primary ID Document

The GRE Subject Tests have their own set of rules and requirements, including ID documentation. This section explores what IDs are needed for these specific tests.

Comparing General and Subject Test ID Requirements

How do the ID requirements for GRE Subject Tests compare to the General Test? This part highlights the differences and similarities.

Preparing ID Documents for GRE Subject Tests

Preparation is key for a hassle-free test day. This guide provides tips on how to prepare your ID documents for the GRE Subject Tests, ensuring everything is in order.

Special Considerations for Subject Test Takers

There are unique considerations for those taking GRE Subject Tests. This segment discusses what special arrangements or documentation might be needed, especially for international test-takers.


In conclusion, while a passport is generally the most straightforward form of ID for GRE registration, there are exceptions and alternative options based on test location and type.

It’s crucial to stay informed and prepared to ensure a smooth testing experience. Always verify with the ETS guidelines and your local test center to ensure you have the correct ID documents on your test day.


Can I register for the GRE without a passport?

In most cases, a valid passport is required for GRE registration. However, depending on your test location, other government-issued IDs may be acceptable.

What are the ID-proof alternatives for the GRE in India?

In India, an Aadhaar card may be accepted as valid ID proof for GRE, but this is subject to the rules of the specific test center.

Is a passport mandatory for the GRE at Home test?

Yes, for the GRE at Home test, a valid passport is typically mandatory.

What happens if I don’t have the required ID on the test day?

Without the required ID, you may not be allowed to take the test, and your test fee might not be refunded.

Can I use an expired passport for GRE registration?

No, an expired passport or any expired ID document is not acceptable for GRE registration.

Build your profile to get into top colleges


Almost there!

Just enter your OTP, and your planner will be on its way!

Code sent on

Resend OTP (30s)

Resend OTP

Your Handbook Is Waiting on WhatsApp!

Please have a look, and always feel free to reach out for any detailed guidance



Click here to download

Meanwhile check out your dashboard to access various tools to help you in your study abroad journey


Get Ambitio Pro!

Unlock Advanced Features for a More Comprehensive Application Experience!


Start your Journey today

Find your Dream school now⭐️


Welcome! Let's Land Your Dream Admit.


Almost there!

Just enter your OTP, and your planner will be on its way!

Code sent on

Resend OTP (30s)

Resend OTP
Scroll to Top