Voter Identification Requirements

H.B. 458 changes the types of identification (“ID”) Ohioans may use for voter registration and voting. In general, a voter must have photo ID to vote in person, unless the voter has a religious objection to being photographed and attests to this on the form prescribed by the Secretary of State.

For absentee voting by mail, a voter may still provide an Ohio driver’s license number or state ID card number, the last four digits of their Social Security Number (“SSN”), or a photocopy of the voter’s photo identification. (Note: A “copy” of a photo ID requires images of both the front and back of one of the forms of photo ID acceptable on Election Day, except in the case of a U.S. passport.  A “copy” of a passport mean a copy of the ID page of the passport that includes the voter’s name, photograph, and other identifying information and the passport’s expiration date.)

Beginning on April 7, 2023, any person ages 17 and over who applies for and receives a state ID card from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”) may receive it for free.

The following documents will be acceptable photo ID for voting as long as the ID is not expired and includes the individual’s name and photograph:

• Ohio driver’s license, state ID card, or interim ID form issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”).  This includes a commercial driver’s license, motorcycle operator’s license, probationary or restricted license, or temporary instruction permit.  An interim identification form is a BMV document issued to a person who has just applied for a driver’s license or state ID card, to use until the permanent card arrives in the mail;
• U.S. passport or passport card; or
• U.S. military ID card, Ohio National Guard ID card, or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card (collectively referenced in this Directive as “military ID”).
Note: A suspended driver’s license that is not expired may still be used as photo
identification for voting.

Voters Who Cannot Provide Photo ID
Voters without ID may still cast a provisional ballot when they appear in person to vote.  Those voters will have four days after Election Day to appear at the board of elections office to show photo ID (except in the case of a religious objector, as described below). Voters must show a photo ID or provide a copy of an acceptable form of ID. It is not sufficient to provide the Ohio driver’s license number or state ID card number or the last four digits of the voter’s SSN.

 Religious Objectors
If a voter does not have a photo ID because of a religious objection to being photographed, the precinct election official or board staff, as applicable, must provide the voter an affidavit of religious objection on a form that our Office will prescribe. This may occur either when the voter casts the provisional ballot or at the office of the board by the fourth day after Election Day. Election officials must attach the affidavit to the provisional ballot affirmation. The board must
transmit the completed affidavit of religious objection to the Secretary’s Office, which then must consult the BMV’s database to determine whether they issued a currently unexpired photo ID to that voter.
The affidavit of religious objection is not valid if the BMV has issued a currently unexpired photo ID or if the last four digits of the voter’s SSN provided on the affidavit do not match those digits in the Statewide Voter Registration Database.
This Office will prescribe the form of the affidavit based on the wording in statute.