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Navigating Ohio's Voter ID Requirements: A Comprehensive Guide

If you've not voted recently, as of 2023 Oho adopted a new Voting ID requirement. Understanding these requirements is crucial for making sure your vote counts. Luckily for you, we have all the details you need. PLUS, we've got great news for those looking for a free ID option!

What Counts as Valid Photo ID in Ohio?

When heading to the polls in Ohio, you have several options for photo identification:

  • State IDs: This includes an Ohio driver's license, a State of Ohio ID card, or Interim ID issued by the Ohio BMV.

  • Federal IDs: You can use a U.S. passport, a U.S. passport card, a U.S. military ID card, an Ohio National Guard ID card, or a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card.

Example Images of IDs provided by the Ohio Secretary of State
Valid IDs according to the Ohio Secretary of State Website

One thing to make note of is that your ID must be current, with your photo, and the name should match what's listed in the voter's pollbook. An unexpired ID with a former address is acceptable if your current address is in the pollbook.

You may encounter some special situations such as:

  • Paper temporary IDs, old hole-punched IDs, or IDs in the old format. These are all valid as long as they are current and not expired.

  • Name changes: if you've changed your name legally, you'll need to bring proof, complete Form 10-L, and ensure you're registered in your precinct

  • Recent move: if you've moved within your precinct and updated your registration, you're all set to vote

What's Not Accepted?

Ohio has a clear list of IDs that won't work for voting, including out-of-state driver's licenses, Social Security cards, birth certificates, and more... as of publishing, the following documents may not be used for Voting:

  • Driver’s license or photo identification card issued by a state other than Ohio;

  • Social Security card;

  • Birth certificate;

  • Insurance card;

  • Utility bill;

  • Bank statement;

  • Government check;

  • Paycheck;

  • Other government document; or

Any registration acknowledgment notice from the county board of elections. The most up to date information on ID Requirements can be found on the Ohio Secretary of State's website:

Provisional Ballots: A Safety Net for Your Right to Vote!

If you don't have the right ID on election day, don't worry! You can cast a provisional ballot. To ensure it's counted, just present the correct ID to the board of elections within four days of the election. The most up to date information on Provisional Ballots can be found on the Ohio Secretary of State's website:

Securing Your FREE STATE ID

Ohio residents without a valid driver's license are eligible for a FREE ID card. Applicants must provide proof of:

  • Legal name

  • Date of birth

  • Social Security number

  • Legal presence in the U.S.

  • Ohio residency

  • Proof of name change (if applicable)

Before heading to the BMV, make sure you have all the necessary documents by using the tool on their website:


Closing Thoughts: Navigating voter ID requirements can be tricky, but we hope this guide makes it a little easier for you, the Ohio voter. Remember, your vote is your voice, so make sure it's heard by being prepared! And remember, valid ID is crucial, not just for voting, but for many aspects of daily life. If you're eligible, don't miss out on the chance to get a free ID. Stay informed, stay prepared, and happy voting!


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